No matter the type of health care organization you represent, the handling of medical waste is critical for a variety of reasons. Medical waste disposal is essential first and foremost to move potentially harmful materials offsite so they do not spread infectious disease to your patients, among health care workers or in your community.
It’s also important to have proper medical waste disposal because of the need to properly render biological materials and other contaminated substances noninfectious before disposal. And it’s vital that medical waste disposal remove those items from your facility and transport them to the appropriate site.
If you are looking for this kind of service, we recommend working with trained professionals who have the knowledge, technology and resources to safely handle medical waste disposal and documentation. Not to find the right experts for the job.
Traits of a qualified medical waste disposal professional
Not every company that claims to collect and dispose of medical waste is a good fit for your organization. Keep in mind that this is serious business. Penalties can stem from mishandling of sensitive materials and, far worse, illness and even death.
The first trait you should seek in a medical waste disposal professional is knowledge of existing federal, state and local laws. For example, they should be familiar with the Medical Waste Tracking Act of 1988, which codified the definition of medical wastes such as:
- Blood-soaked bandages
- Glassware including culture dishes
- Used surgical gloves
- Discarded needles and surgical tools
- Body organs
Second, schedule appointments with possible service providers and ask questions that will reveal whether they have a great depth of knowledge in the area of medical waste handling. For instance, not all waste is created equal. In fact, it’s divided into the four categories of general waste, infectious, hazardous and radioactive. Each of these areas demand the utmost care and attention to ensure proper handling from a medical facility to the site of final disposal. A mistake at any point along the chain of delivery can expose people to unnecessary harm and create serious liability for your organization.
Third, decide early on to work with a service provider that goes above and beyond the bare minimum. Collecting medical waste is very different from simply collecting garbage from trash cans in a suburban neighborhood. Existing laws require medical facilities to label outgoing waste with care so that disposal efforts can be tracked and researched should an issue arise in the future.
Our team takes this need to monitor waste seriously. We do that by building an efficient system through which waste containers are labeled in a way that achieves regulatory compliance and results in legal disposal of contaminated items.
Fourth, find a service provider that has the tools not only to collect waste but also to dispose of it in a way that renders waste incapable of causing harm to others. Our business is proud to use an autoclave machine as part of an incineration system that produces efficient and successful removal of waste while creating 0.0 percent pollutant-free emission.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask a prospective service provider about the items they can and can’t collect. It’s best to find a business that has broad specialty and wide-ranging abilities to get rid of waste as opposed to those with numerous restrictions and limited capabilities to handle waste. In particular, you can ask whether they can dispose of infectious waste—which can be particularly devastating for humans or animals if mismanaged—such as:
- Broken glass
- Bulk blood
- Body fluids
If you are seeking a professional in medical waste disposal in Minnesota, we invite you to contact the LB Medwaste team at 715-842-2048. We look forward to learning about your health care organization’s needs and to sharing ways we can help deliver outstanding waste disposal services.