What is hospital waste management?
Waste management in a hospital, also known as medical waste management, includes health care waste that can be described as infectious, chemical, expired pharmaceutical and radioactive and sharp objects. A efficient hospital waste management is of high importance for hospitals, as medical waste can be pathogenic and hazardous to the environment. Failure to comply with regulations can have serious consequences, such as health hazards, fines or damage to the reputation of the health care institution.
The use of checklists in hospital waste management helps to complete all related tasks correctly, safely and reliably. In addition, the data obtained can be used to track, review and ideally improve processes. Checklists in waste disposal in hospitals support the work of the employees and provide safety.
This article provides information on the following topics:
Good practices for waste management in hospitals
Medical waste can be hazardous, toxic and even lethal. If not properly managed by the hospital, they pose a serious risk to people and the environment. This includes, for example, the transmission of diseases, environmental pollution and poisoning.
The following 3 practices should be followed to make hospital waste disposal safe and sustainable:
1. Comply with national regulations
Each state or country has different regulations when it comes to medical waste. These regulations should be known, and relevant updates followed to ensure that medical facilities can comply with them. Training, courses and other resources help staff to implement proper waste management in the hospital.
2. Correctly mark containers and waste bins
Waste disposal in hospitals can be divided into different types, each requiring a different method of disposal. Separation ensures that each type is properly disposed of, transported and destroyed. Coding helps to avoid major health problems caused by mislabelled medical waste.
A coding scheme for medical waste may be as follows:
A-waste: House-like commercial waste
This waste can be disposed of in a normal residual waste container and does not pose any particular risk of infection. However, ensure that the container can be closed.
B-waste: Waste containing blood, secretions or excrements
Here it is important to take protective measures within the hospital to avoid the spread of pathogens.
C-waste: Infectious waste
In order to avoid the spread of communicable diseases, this waste must under no circumstances be tipped over. This can avoid the risk of aerosol formation.
D-waste: Waste requiring monitoring (e.g. chemicals)
Environmentally hygienic waste must be disposed of as hazardous waste. It should be remembered that they are stored in rooms that have no access to the public sewerage system.
E-waste: Ethical waste, such as body parts or tissue residues
These substances must be disposed of in liquid-tight containers. It is possible to treat smaller quantities as class C waste. Special incineration plants then carry out collective incineration.
3. Process monitoring to find improvement opportunities
The success of a hospital waste management system can be measured with a monitoring tool that can be easily integrated into the workflow. Inspections of all waste management processes should be carried out regularly. This includes separation and collection up to and including storage, transport and disposal itself. Digital hospital waste management checklists are a suitable monitoring tool that can be used easily and efficiently. Employees who use them can do more things in less time. The use of digital checklists in hospital waste management also help to ensure that daily, weekly and monthly tasks are completed on time.
Advantages of a medical waste management tool
With digital hospital waste management checklists, you can easily perform regular checks via tablet or smartphone – online or offline. With the desktop software, you create checklists for monitoring medical waste and then evaluate the collected data. For example, you can directly identify disposal problems and resolve incidents up to four times faster. Use the advantages of Lumiform’s app and software ever day for your healthcare institution:
- The flexible form construction kit makes it possible to create new individual checklists for hospital waste management at any time and to adapt them again and again.
- The Lumiform app ensures that the schedule is kept. All employees receive notifications about the procedure and due dates. Managers automatically receive notifications when assignments are overdue and problems have occurred.
- Keep an eye on your schedule and use the information to identify opportunities to increase the efficiency of the hospital waste management in your organization.
- With the data you collect from your waste management inspections you can streamline the performance of your hospital waste management processes. This helps you to quickly identify causes and problems so you can fix them as quickly as possible.
- Connect Lumiform’s software to your enterprise software systems. Start immediately with your first checklist, by selecting one of our ready-to-use templates from our template library.
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