There will always be some procedure to be performed in order to save a patient’s life. This entails the use of medical supplies that would otherwise be discarded as medical waste after each procedure.
Before performing any medical treatments, the area to be used for them must be cleaned and sterilized, implying that some waste material was present even before the procedure began. In dealing with this, you have to take note that medical waste should be handled differently than regular trash as it may pose a health risk to others.
There’s a lot of medical waste that should be disposed of on a daily basis, particularly in the operating room. But there are ways to reduce them, as detailed below.
- Assign Team Members To Check And Educate
Having a specific team member in charge of waste management during each shift may help to reduce careless item use and disposal.
This person will see to it that medical waste is discarded properly after use. In addition, this team member will make sure that every operating room will have specific bins for different types of medical waste. Ensuring that the correct items are placed in the designated bins raises employee awareness and makes the disposal company’s job easier.
Medical staff should be consciously involved in the process of saving costs. But accepting responsibility for their actions may be one of the best ways to accomplish this. Holding each other accountable could help to further these efforts, and serve as a good reminder to consider how they can contribute to the reduction of medical waste.
- Use Metered Dosage Devices
Medications, including anesthesia, are available in metered dosages similar to the ones fagronsterile.com offers.
Staff members could utilize a metered dose device instead of opening a whole bottle, jar, or tube of medication. And because pre-measured amounts are used, there is less waste. As a result, when medication is administered in precise measurements, a significant amount of money is saved.
Using these safe, comfortable, and cost-effective options could help the hospital reduce its environmental footprint, especially in operating rooms.
- Sterilize Before Considering Replacement
There may be thousands of medical tools, tubes, drapes, and other equipment used and disposed of daily in an operating room. But many of these items could be bought pre-used and sterilized before being used again.
Although it may be necessary to throw away disposable single-use items like gloves, gauze, and personal protection gear, staff could reuse other things in a theater. Endoscopes or stethoscopes, for example, can be used on the next patient after they’ve been thoroughly sterilized. This process could be carried out in-house or by a cleaning company.
Before sterilization, all hazardous chemicals, bodily fluids, and other potential contaminants are carefully washed away. But depending on the requirements, these items may go through a few added procedures to make them safe for use again. Doing this helps reduce the need to replace these items.
- Effectively Use Disposal Systems
As required by law, medical waste should be labeled to identify and properly discard the ones that can spread diseases and other hazards to the general public.
Plastic bins can be used to dispose of medication or syringes, and specified containers should be set out for any drapes, clothing, and similar items that contain bodily fluids. Separate trash cans for more negligible medical waste must be put alongside the standard trash cans.
The plastic bins with syringes and sharp items are to be incinerated along with the medical waste that the staff can’t reuse. Moving the items to the correct compartment for disposal or cleaning is made easy when there are designated trash bins for each of them. As a result of proper segregation, less waste is disposed of in landfills which benefits the environment.
- Conserve Energy And Water Effectively
It’s a known fact that all operating room staff must wash their hands several times a day because it’s critical to a patient’s safety. Surgeons and other theater staff do this to remove viruses, bacteria, dirt, and other elements that may cause infection. Working with open wounds, these could quickly be deposited into the patient’s system if hands are not washed.
However, every staff member should take note that faucets left dripping are one of the most significant sources of water waste worldwide. This can be avoided by ensuring that water is used only when necessary, and by closing faucets after each use.
In addition, doctors and nurses should switch off the theater lights and disconnect non-essential items from power outlets when they’re not in use. Looking after the environment by implementing these easy-to-follow measures would positively affect the way medical waste is reduced in operating rooms.
When everyone works together to create a less wasteful operating room, it may be possible to save money while protecting the environment. Hospital staff could look into available options to improve waste management. Items that are reused could already have a significant impact.
Finally, it’s up to the employees to follow through and do their part to reduce waste. Consider how little waste there could be if the environment is taken into account before using and disposing of medical items.