Read on to learn about the types of hazardous drugs commonly found in healthcare organizations.
Topics: Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal
By Selin Hoboy, Vice President of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, Stericycle
We are very fortunate in the U.S. to have an excellent and readily available healthcare system. However, maintaining such a system requires many behind-the-scenes support services that many of us are unaware of or take for granted. Managing medical waste is one such service. Every day, a wide range of potentially infectious or chemical waste is created requiring special disposal; this includes needles from routine vaccinations, tumors removed from patients, trace chemicals remaining in an IV line, or bloodied supplies from treating an accident victim.Of millions of tons of waste generated from our ho spital systems each year, just 6-8% percent (per Practice Greenhealth) is considered “regulated medical waste” requiring treatment from companies like Stericycle. While most people think that all regulated medical waste is incinerated, only about 10% is treated via incineration.
Topics: Medical Waste
By Dr. Allen Weiss, CEO and President of the NCH Healthcare System
Leading a healthcare system means balancing risks and rewards. Rewards are immense when they include life-saving treatments. The risks can be a spectrum from regulatory shifts to patient safety and harmful waste production.
Healthcare leaders play a role in reform-related changes that often align costs for smart investments and new partnerships. One risk affects our facilities, healthcare networks, communities and the environment: medical waste. Identifying the most appropriate options for managing waste should include evaluating potential partners.
In healthcare settings the presence of medical waste is inevitable. There are five steps that leaders can take to minimize related risks.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is in wide use throughout general industry workplaces today in the form of masks, gloves, eye shields, etc. The presence of such items in many non-healthcare related work settings makes it is easy to assume that everyone knows how to properly use such common items and what their limitations may be.
Federal OSHA describes the discarding and containment of sharps in the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard where it states, “contaminated sharps shall be discarded immediately or as soon as feasible.”
With competing priorities and limited resources, your medical practice or health care facility is constantly performing a balancing act between meeting regulations and running a business. If you aren’t focused on HIPAA compliance because you don’t think an audit or breach will happen to you, you could be “walking the tight rope” toward HIPAA issues.
Topics: HIPAA Compliance