The process of disposing of waste generated within a medical facility such as a hospital or clinic requires careful planning and perfect implementation. Omitting one step can make matters worse resulting in heavy penalties. You also stand to lose your reputation with the closure of the facility and cancelling of the license being imminent. Do not fail to learn the regulations and stipulated necessities right away. Some of the facts related to the disposal of medical waste in a facility include following safety standards that are in place.
The very first question that is sure to arise in your mind is the definition of medical waste. It helps to remember that all waste materials generated by medical facilities, outdoor clinics, research laboratories, and therapy rooms are considered to be a medical or biomedical waste. You may also find the waste referred to as clinical waste frequently.
- Collection of the waste materials is not enough. You must ensure that the materials are segregated meticulously and retained in color-coded storage containers as per the guidance of the authorities. The collection is also a procedure that must be done properly. For this, you have to employ a trained staff member who has the expertise and experience of dealing with the responsibility. There is a standard for using coloured containers that are leak and puncture-proof to prevent the escape of contaminated materials at any point during disposal. You must source the right coloured containers in sufficient quantities to avoid mishandling. While color-coding has been the standard for long, it is heartening to know that you may also use durable and safe containers for holding sharps and other materials that can be locked to prevent leakage or injury. Such containers happen to be reusable with no risks of contamination.
- Retaining the waste material storage containers inside the medical facility is a strict no-no. You certainly do not want a visitor or patient to arrive at this area and check the containers out of curiosity. The best way to avoid such a situation is to keep the storage area completely separate from the main facility or laboratory with unauthorized persons being barred from entering the area. The waste material would be made ready for disposal within a short period. However, ordinary vehicles are not equipped to handle the transportation of the materials to the nearest landfill or the registered incinerator for final disposal. You would have to provide a special vehicle meant for this purpose.
- Proper treatment of hazardous wastes is an essential part of eliminating the associated risks. You would have to follow the protocols and comply with the safety practices. Autoclaving is the accepted method for rendering waste safe for transportation. The liquid waste as well as chemicals may have to be treated with strong chlorine to denature it completely. Small clinics frequently use irradiation to do the needful while transporting the waste material for incineration will get rid of it permanently.
Complaints of non-compliance can be addressed by hiring the services of a professional company reputed for the proper disposal of medical waste.