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Top Three Risks of Mishandled Medical Waste

Kevin Webber - Aug 15, 2017 6:01:00 AM

3-risks-of-mishandled-medical-waste.jpgThe decisions you make with your medical waste safeguard the physicians and employees at your medical facility. Because of this, you probably often wonder if you are unaware of hidden risks. To help  mitigate your practice's risks , we have created a list of top risks caused by mishandled medical waste and tips to help you reduce them.

1. Legal Risk

Did you know that your medical facility is legally responsible for medical waste even after the waste has been transported, treated and disposed? A failure to properly document, package, treat, transport, and dispose can lead to fines from local, state, and federal agencies that regulate medical disposal. You might work with a third-party provider to handle all or part of this process, but your medical practice remains responsible.

You can minimize legal risk by staying up to date with local and state regulations on medical waste. And, by making sure your medical waste company provides you with the correct documentation, both federally and locally. Lastly, reduce your risks even further by providing medical staff with personal protective equipment and training them correctly. With the proper knowledge, your medical facility staff will be well equipped to avoid the risks associated with federal, state and local regulations.

2. Health Risk

Medical waste is infectious, toxic, and sometimes radioactive. Because of this, mishandled medical waste can seriously affect your patients, staff, and the local community. You can ensure medical waste is handled properly by educating staff,  posting notices for do’s and don’ts, and checking to make sure proper procedures are followed. You decrease health risks and costs by ensuring you are properly classifying and segregating your office's waste streams.

3. Reputation Risk

Your practice's reputation equity is priceless. The practice is built on years of  service provided by its medical staff. While one disposal incident may not cause a major problem with your reputation, repeated occurrences may cause patients to consider other medical facilities in the area.

Having the correct medical waste procedures in place reduces the chance an  incident will happen. Some medical  practitioners may  tell you that the costs associated with a proper medical waste disposal service are too high. However, consider  the cost of fines if you fail to follow proper regulations and procedures.

The money you would need to spend rebuilding your medical facility's reputation is also significant. You would have to win back the trust that came from years of being  a trusted medical  provider. The public relations, marketing, and community outreach that would be required also holds a cost that's hard to quantify.

Medical waste holds many hidden risks. That is why the value of proper medical waste management is inestimable. Make sure you take all risk into account when evaluating your medical waste processes and procedures and when choosing a medical waste service provider.

If you still are uncertain whether or not your medical waste practices are compliant, contact a reputable medical waste company. They will help you design a program that will minimize risk at your medical facility. There’s no need to try to figure out the many requirements and regulations yourself. Work with a trusted partner  who has the medical waste experience and resources you need to properly handle your facility's waste.

Topics: Regulated Medical Waste

Kevin Webber

Kevin Webber

Kevin Webber is a partner at TriHaz Solutions and actively involved in the day-to-day business from a strategic and operational standpoint. He has a successful background in business/investment management and entrepreneurship, including recognition by Inc. Magazine’s 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies.

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