Nursing homes and long-term care facilities are home to the most vulnerable population. At the same time, these facilities produce a substantial amount of medical waste per year, including blood, blood products, and bodily fluids, to name a few.
Medical waste not only poses a significant health risk to workers but also to your patients and the environment as well. For this reason, the healthcare community has set forth regulations to control the handling and disposing of these substances.
As a healthcare worker or office manager, it is your job to understand and abide by these regulations to protect yourself and the people you serve.
At DMI Solutions, we respect the time and effort it takes to provide high-quality medical care while remaining in compliance with medical waste regulations, OSHA, and HIPAA requirements.
We proudly serve our local communities by offering ethical medical waste disposal services and compliance training that allows you to focus solely on the wellbeing of your residents.
Long-term care facilities and nursing homes have unique needs as it relates to medical waste disposal. Hiring an experienced medical waste disposal company will benefit you by ridding your facility of microbial organisms (e.g., bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc.) and other dangerous substances, producing a healthy environment for all.
Below are a few of the most important waste disposal services that best serve the needs of nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
Biohazardous medical waste or red bag waste is any item that is or may be contaminated by blood, body fluids, or other potentially infectious material. These materials must be collected and transported away from the facility to be properly treated and disposed of on a regular basis.
Biohazardous medical waste is created daily at long-term care facilities through the use of items like bandaids, gauze, tubes, and more. These items should be properly stored in biohazard containers for easy identification and collection.
Needles and syringes are just two examples of sharps used in long-term care settings. Properly storing and disposing of these items reduces the possibility of needlestick injuries, spreading infection and disease.
The most common bloodborne diseases are hepatitis B, HIV, and hepatitis C. For this reason, sharps should be stored in specified sharps containers and disposed of according to regulation.
Sharps containers are uniquely designed to be puncture-proof and leak-proof to reduce the likelihood of injury or infection drastically.
Long-term health care involves the heavy use of medications to support patient health. When these medications expire, are only partially used, or become contaminated, they must be disposed of safely and effectively.
Pharmaceutical waste should be stored according to its category, including hazardous, non-hazardous, or controlled substances. Each category and type has a characteristic, such as ignitable, corrosive, reactive, toxic.
Improper disposal of pharmaceuticals can lead to the contamination of groundwater and plant life, wreaking havoc on the environment and community.
At DMI Solutions, we can help you dispose of over-the-counter medications. At this time, we are unable to dispose of Class 1-5 drugs.
As a healthcare provider or manager, you are also responsible for the security and confidentiality of the patients you serve. You deal with information like health records, addresses, social security numbers, and other non-public data.
Document shredding can protect your patients from paper data breaches while also complying with national privacy laws. Once documents have reached their expiration, they should be destroyed using professional shredding methods. Until then, they should be securely stored.
Nursing homes and long-term care facilities have the challenging job of serving patients who are more prone to infectious disease. As such, this waste requires special attention. MRSA and COVID-19 are two critical diseases facing nursing home patients and staff.
MRSA is a highly infectious bacteria that is resistant to antibiotic treatment. This infection enters the body through wounds, burns, and other open areas of skin and can cause serious skin infections. Those infected with MRSA must be isolated, and all medical waste from MRSA patients must be carefully and properly disposed of to prevent spreading.
COVID-19 is an infectious disease derived from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The virus can cause problems within the respiratory tract, leading to serious complications or death. In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, nursing homes must input safe waste handling and disposal practices to keep staff and patients safe.
Compliance requirements can vary per state, so you should always consider your state’s regulatory requirements for compliance training. However, in most cases, nursing home and long-term care facilities are required to undergo the following types of compliance training:
OSHA bloodborne pathogens
OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS)
HIPAA privacy and security
DOT hazardous materials
Quality compliance training reduces risk by educating staff on the correct processes and procedures to ensure your business runs effectively.
At DMI Solutions, we have decades of experience serving the medical industry. We are a local, family-owned and -operated company with the expertise and high quality of a national chain. With us, you get access to services that protect your patients on all fronts without the high price tag.
When you trust us with your medical waste disposal needs, you will get a team of dedicated professionals who understand the particular needs of long-term care facilities. If you’re looking for medical waste disposal, contact our team at DMI Solutions today.