Reducing waste in hospitals won’t just cut costs it will also help cut risks while improving overall operations. Check out these tips.
Reducing waste in hospital facilities remains a top priority. As an industry that creates major amounts of discarded matter daily, it is vital to streamline and perfect the disposal process to keep the environment clean and safe for facility employees and patients.
Understanding the type of waste produced and how to properly handle it are part of the major steps required.
Here are the 10 tips for waste minimization –
- SETUP WASTE SEGREGATION CONTAINERS – It’s important for compliance and safety that all medical waste be placed in safe and clearly labeled bins. With this practice in place, there will be less questioning what goes where and the path to waste removal will be streamlined.
- CONSIDER RECYCLING WHEN POSSIBLE – There are many materials in a medical setting that can be recycled. Finding out which items are able to be recycled and setting them aside for those companies that will take them back can significantly reduce waste.
- USE REUSABLES – In addition to materials that can be recycled after use, there are items such as bed linens, gowns and other items that can be reused once cleaned and sterilized. Find out which items you can use at your facility in reusable format to help cut down on waste.
- THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX – When we think of medical waste we typically think about syringes and medical devices but there are a number of other areas in a healthcare setting that can help cut down on waste – including the kitchen. Cutting food waste by using non-perishables and donating scraps is one way to do so.
- TAKE INVENTORY & DONATE EXTRAS – As a first step to reducing waste, it’s important to take inventory. Once you understand how many supplies the facility is actually using vs. what is being ordered, you may be able to change how much is supply is stocked and ordered and even donate the extras to lessen the chance of waste.
- CREATE A PLAN – Uncovering all of this information about the type of waste coming out of your facility and creating a plan that is distributed site-wide is important to ensuring that waste minimization happens.
- ENFORCE POLICIES – In addition to setting up a plan for minimizing waste, it’s important to follow-up to be sure that employees are actually following protocols in every aspect of their jobs.
- PROVIDE TRAINING – A great way to get employees on board with reducing the waste produced at your facility is to provide training. Tips for how to reduce waste and why it’s important is key.
- CONTRACT WITH A WASTE REMOVAL COMPANY- Signing up with a waste disposal company is important as it assures that items are safely removed and disposed of after they have left your facility.
- BE CONSISTENT: It’s easy to put rules in place, have staff follow them for a while, and then let them fall by the wayside. To have a lasting impact on waste reduction efforts, it’s important to be consistent and continue to use the above-mentioned steps at your facility each and every day.
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