Medical waste is unavoidable and an important industry cost to factor into the operations of any healthcare community. However, the lack of advancements in the medical waste industry have led to operational complexity and over-spending. Knowing how to properly dispose of healthcare medical waste keeps your organization compliant as well as conserves time, money and resources.
What is Medical Waste Management?
Before optimizing your medical waste management program, a best practice is to know what medical waste consists of and how it is generated. The five major types of waste include pharmaceutical waste, red bag waste, sharps waste, isolation waste, and pathological waste:
- Pharmaceutical waste is any waste that includes I.V bags, tubing, and unused or expired regulated medications and controlled substances.
- Red bag waste relates to infectious packaging, infusion kits, gauze and any other material saturated in blood. It is also known as biohazardous waste.
- Sharps needle waste includes needles, blades, syringes, and other injection devices.
- Isolation waste is waste from patients infected with highly communicable diseases such as Ebola. This waste includes biological waste, waste contaminated with blood or excretion, isolation gowns, masks, and gloves.
- Pathological waste includes tissue or body parts removed during surgery or research.
How Much Does Medical Waste Disposal Cost?
The highly unpredictable cost of medical waste hauling and disposal is a paint point for many healthcare communities. In a post COVID-19 world, the average cost of medical waste disposal will likely rise and adversely impact facility operations. A lack of pricing transparency from your waste disposal company may cause your healthcare community to incur hidden fuel costs and added service charges. Additionally, medical disposal contracts and invoices can be difficult to interpret.
How to Optimize Your Waste Management Program
With different types of waste storage, vendors, and disposal, waste management can be complicated. These practices are key when it comes to optimizing your waste disposal vendor management program:
Recognizing the difference between allotment and transactional contracts
- The Allotment Model includes inflexible pickup frequencies, overage charges, and inflexible contracts.
- The Transactional Model is the recommended waste management model and includes no waste pick up charges, non-optimal frequencies and over/under servicing.
Analyze volume and waste segregation trends
- Medical waste reduction from proper waste segregation and sterilization, can reduce volume and spend by as much as 80%.
Practice regular auditing
- By implementing quarterly auditing of your invoices and contracts, you can optimize your spend.
A New Solution for Medical Waste
OnSite Waste Technologies has developed a solution that is revolutionizing the medical waste disposal industry. Their TE-5000 device can help make your waste management program smarter, simpler and safer while bringing greater savings and compliance to your healthcare community. Direct Supply and OnSite’s partnership will support your community with transparent documentation and training to help you properly and cost effectively dispose of your medical waste.
Need help with your healthcare safety medical waste management? Direct Supply and Onsite can help you optimize your program and reduce spend. Request a free ROI analysis for your corporation today!