Over the last number of years we have transitioned away from the single physician and hospital only business model for healthcare to add the more multi-functional practice groups. The more efficient practice group environment has enabled hospitals to focus on the high risk patients while offering excellent care to patients for a number of disorders in a practice group setting in a more cost-effective method. However this also means that practice groups can have any number of situations from a regular checkup to a potentially contagious disease state. Given the shift in this treatment status, practice groups have an elevated requirement to manage and dispose of medical waste so that it protects their staff, the patients, the community and the environment, according to varying local, state, and federal guidelines. Practice groups rely on qualified, certified and professional medical waste disposal companies who are well-versed in the laws and ensure correct disposal of all hazardous medical waste.
The general definition of medical waste is anything that has the potential to cause transmission of infection or diseases to humans and the environment. Since each state has its own regulatory organizations, medical waste is also called “regulated medical waste, infectious waste, and biomedical waste.” Due to the variety of patients that are treated in practice groups, they may have any of the medical waste types and are required by law to follow the guidelines for each one to ensure that the waste is stored, treated, and disposed of in a safe manner.
Due to the large volume of patient types, services offered, and procedures, practice groups must comply with extra steps to ensure that all are protected from the potential transmission of diseases. Staff must be trained according to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) on correct methods of handling and disposing of each type of medical waste.
The medical waste must be stored so that it is in a location that can’t be accessed by any unauthorized personnel, in a temperature controlled environment, and in containers/bags appropriate for each type that are leak proof, puncture-proof, sturdy and sealable. Containers need to be located so that they are away from main traffic and cannot fall in any way that could allow the release of the contents.
Like every generator of medical waste, practice groups are required to ensure that all medical waste is treated and disposed of according to local, state, and federal laws, and make use of the professionals in the medical waste disposal companies that can accommodate these rules.
Parent page – Medical Waste Disposal
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