The paper published by GPT revealed that the NHS (National Health Service is the name used for each of the public health services in the United Kingdom) spends over 700 million pounds every single year on the disposal of waste. The handling of this waste is critical and has a direct impact on the bottom line in every healthcare facility or establishment.
Poor and ineffective management of medical waste could expose staff, patients, and the general community to infections, injuries, and toxins. In addition, the environment can be polluted with the waste if not properly handled. But, there’s more. If healthcare facilities aren’t aware of their options, the state laws, and all the possible scenarios, they can also be wasting money.
This is why it is so important for the people responsible for waste management to be heavily involved in the process. They should be well aware of the best disposal and management methods and have done enough research to quantify why their facility is managing things a certain way. Different waste types require different management methods, but all the different processes should be aligned into one singular strategy and cohesive plan.
Traditional waste management processes cannot reduce cost significantly.
There needs to be a mental shift in waste management for there to be savings. Some healthcare facilities implement a single waste management strategy and never evaluate its performance over time. Research is done, but it’s not repeated. Often times, these initial strategies tend to get costlier as time goes on, and it’s just considered a cost of doing business. The reality, though, is that you cannot change what you do not measure or evaluate.
There has to be an audit and evaluation of current practices. The particular needs of the healthcare facility have to be identified and a current, comprehensive waste management solution should be devised to suit these particular needs.
Evaluate your system for the procurement of waste services. There are several approaches to procure waste services in the healthcare industry and it is important to identify the one that will benefit you the most as a healthcare facility.
The development of a robust and flexible waste processing strategy can help you save. There are several options and ways to dispose of or process waste. Depending on your type and volume of waste, you need to identify the most effective and affordable option. We’re not talking about sacrificing safety for affordability, but it’s crucial to weigh each and every suitable option to truly understand the costs and benefits associated with each.
Recycling rates should be improved, as they will add to your savings. The general improvement of operational efficiency amongst waste management staff needs to be emphasized and ensured. All of these will lead to the drafting of a better waste management process that will save you time, resources, and money.
The paper mentioned above found that a hospital can save up to 15-20% of waste management costs from the implementation of a better waste service procurement strategy. One particular facility described in the paper implemented a better waste management strategy and was able to save 225 000 pounds, in addition to increasing their recycling by over 97%.
Every healthcare facility both needs and wants to save money. At the end of the day, everyone suffers when healthcare facilities needlessly waste resources. What if you too could be saving millions of dollars by tearing apart your current waste management process and starting fresh?
Learn more about OSHA Compliance, Medical Waste Management and Services and more, by getting in touch with Enviromerica today. We can ensure that you receive the best advice for optimizing your healthcare practice.