The Hectic Healthcare Setting
Healthcare is a fast-paced environment where providers move steadily from patient to patient, delivering care and prescribing treatments to resolve urgent issues, address health concerns, and more. As part of this multifaceted work, providers are constantly discarding soiled personal protective equipment used needles, leftover medications, and other medical waste. If an organization doesn’t have a reliable program for proper medical waste handling and disposal, it can inadvertently put staff, patients, and the surrounding community at risk.
Continuously Evolving Standards
Medical waste disposal is governed by various regulations designed to preserve staff and patient safety, prevent injury, and mitigate the risks of environmental harm. These rules often evolve—in part because of increasingly heightened awareness. In addition, as new drugs and treatment options enter the market, such as chemotherapy patches, healthcare organizations must familiarize themselves with any unique disposal requirements and incorporate them into existing processes and procedures as appropriate.
Staff Turnover Can Exacerbate the Complexity
Keeping up with nuances of medical waste disposal can be challenging for any healthcare organization, especially for those with high levels of staff turnover. Comprehensive staff education and training take time and resources. If an organization constantly needs to train new employees, it can take a toll on overall resource usage and efficiency, as well as an organization’s bottom line. This lack of continuity can also present potential safety risks as new staff face a learning curve when fully appreciating the many hazards and requirements.
An Expert Partner Can Make a Difference
Given the complexity of medical waste management, it is easy to see how healthcare organizations can have questions or need guidance. Further, because many organizations do not have a dedicated role in managing this process, it can be hard to get a holistic picture of how waste is handled from beginning to end.
A strategic partnership with a medical waste management expert can be valuable. Offering a unique perspective, a knowledgeable outside partner can play a critical role in spotting hazards, compliance gaps, and training opportunities while helping build practice-based programs that safeguard staff and patients as well as meet regulatory requirements.
A knowledgeable partner like Stericycle can give your organization peace of mind, knowing our commitment to keep abreast of changing requirements helps ensure your continuous compliance. We can also serve as a valued team member, removing the burden from staff while supporting your organization with tools and resources for long-term success. Learn how Stericycle can be your comprehensive waste management partner.