Appropriate medical waste management can have a big impact on reducing the amount of supplies and materials that make their way into landfills every year. By identifying which materials and supplies can be reused and which are actually waste, health care organizations can help more patients and run clinics more affordably.
Here are five ways hospitals, medical centers, and other health care organizations can help to cut back on medical waste.
- Use refurbished hospital beds. In 2016 alone, over 35.7 million people stayed in a U.S. hospital. The average hospital stay for patients is 4.5 days. The hospital beds these patients stay in can easily be sanitized and refurbished for medical centers, caregivers, and private use.
- Use reusable bins and supplies. Disposable medical supplies and waste containers may be the norm in many medical centers. But these products have reusable variants that are just as sanitary and help to reduce supply costs and medical waste. According to a 2010 study, reusable surgical basins, gowns, and table covers are commonly preferred by OR medical staff and helped to reduce waste production by an average of 65%.
- Use small medical waste containers. Larger medical waste containers make it easier for patients and medical staff to see them as regular trash bags. Small medical waste containers help to reduce the amount of waste that’s created. Make sure that these medical waste containers are only accessible to medical staff when possible.
- Set up a medical waste management team. One of the best ways to reduce your medical waste is to monitor the amount of waste you’re creating. Consider establishing a medical waste management team to provide solutions to your clinic’s waste creation. Monitor your waste production periodically to ensure your clinic is on the right track. Routine improvements and updates to your waste management policy and procedures ensure your strategies are always up-to-date.
- Provide thorough waste management training. You can’t expect your employees and team members to follow medical waste management practices if they don’t know what those practices are. Be sure to provide your clinic with thorough waste management training to help reduce medical waste and keep supply costs under control.
Piedmont Medical offers refurbished hospital beds and resolution beds for medical centers, caregivers, and private use to help reduce medical waste and improve accessibility. To learn more about our Stryker hospital beds and other refurbished equipment, contact Piedmont Medical today.