Health Professional Waste
Healthcare Professional Offices Medical Waste Disposal
Professional healthcare offices are often exposed to medical waste even if they don’t directly interact with patients. Medical offices also must know how to deal with medical waste, both for the direct caregivers and the office support staff. All Florida Medical Waste can help with all your medical waste needs in your healthcare professional office.
Defining Medical Waste
Any office has a significant amount of waste to be removed. However, it is critical that you can recognize and define medical waste, which needs to be handled separately from regular trash. A simple but effective definition is any kind of waste that may contain materials which could be infectious. Some examples of medical waste include:
- Anything with blood on it
- Discarded sharps, syringes and vaccines
- Human or animal tissue
- Cultures of infectious diseases
- Waste produced in a room where a patient with a communicable disease was treated
Bodily fluids are often associated with medical waste and any equipment that was used in handling those fluids, such as bandages, gloves, swabs and more.
Medical waste may be called by various names, which further defines the type of waste or is just another label, such as clinical waste, biohazard waste, infectious medical waste, and healthcare waste. All types of medical waste must be handled differently from traditional waste.
Some examples of types of medical waste you may come into contact with inside a healthcare professional office include the following:
- Sharps – This includes needles, scalpels, razors and other sharp equipment or supplies.
- Infectious waste – This term includes equipment and supplies that come into contact with an infectious person, such as tissues, swabs and lab cultures.
- Pathological – In this category are waste such as bodily fluids, blood, tissue and body parts.
- Pharmaceuticals – This group includes medications, such as pills, antibiotics and vaccines.
You may come into contact with other types of medical waste, but these are the primary ones for a professional office setting.
How Medical Waste is Handled
The regulations regarding medical waste require it to be handled in a specific way for disposal. Waste that is considered non-hazardous or non-regulated doesn’t have any specific guidelines.
Management of medical waste may be treated on-site or taken off-site. It is often handled by truck service, and it can be treated with chemicals or through biological means, incinerated, or through other methods approved of by the regulators based on the type of waste.
As a healthcare professional office, your first consideration is whether you will handle it yourself or outsource it to a medical waste management company like All Florida Medical Waste. Then, you must decide how it gets transported if the waste is handled off-site. Medical waste disposal companies will take care of that challenge by using their own trucks and equipment.
How Medical Waste is Disposed Of
There are mainly four ways that medical waste can be disposed of. Incineration was once the only method used, and it is still used in some situations. However, tighter regulations have led to other methods being the prime options.
Autoclaving is a sterilization method that turns hazardous medical waste into non-hazardous. Once it has gone through the process, medical waste may be disposed of normally.
Microwaving works similar to autoclaving but with a different method. The result is the same in that the waste can be disposed of normally. Chemical treatment is often used on chemical waste to render it harmless.
Managers in a healthcare professional office have the responsibility to know the laws on healthcare waste and to ensure it is classified correctly. The waste must be separated by type and put into the correct waste containers. These containers must be prepared correctly, using the requirements of the regulators. Proper documentation is also critical to follow the trail of the medical waste.
Managers also have the job of finding the right waste disposal company. A medical waste company like All Florida Medical Waste is a safe choice because the team knows the requirements for transporting and disposing of specific types of medical waste.
If you want to know more about how to have your medical waste disposed of correctly or need a reliable, experienced handler of medical waste, contact All Florida Medical Waste for pricing or answers to your questions.