Healthcare management is a concept that seeks to safely dispose of waste. According to WHO data, non-hazardous material contributes to 85 percent of all medical waste. The remaining 15 percent is made up of hazardous materials, which is infectious, radioactive, and chemically dangerous. Properly disposed-off waste ensures a clean and sustainable environment for generations to come. Disregard proper waste management initiatives and the risk of damage to the eco-system is catastrophic. It is incumbent, therefore, on everyone in the medical field to take measures in adopting healthcare solutions waste management.
Categories of Waste from Medical Institutions
Medical by-products are considered as healthcare waste. The trash comes from laboratories, hospitals, research centers, and morgues among other health-related facilities. Understanding the various categories of these waste is the first step in adopting an efficient healthcare disposal solution.
1. Non-Hazardous Waste
This trash type is made up of general, thrown-out material that has no chemical, radioactive, hazardous, or biological consequences.
2. Infectious Waste
Contaminated blood, lab work material with body fluids and infectious cultures make up the infectious waste. The discarded substance may include swabs, stocks of infectious germs, and diagnostic samples.
3. Chemical Substances
Any chemical or any chemical-handling material is categorized under chemical waste. Heavy metals, reagents, solutions, and disinfectants are some of the examples of chemical trash.
4. Pathological waste, which is related to body tissues and samples.
5. Radioactive by-products, and diagnostic material.
6. Sharp trash that includes the syringes, scalpels, and blades.
7. Pharmaceutical waste that is made up of expired contaminated or unused medication and vaccines.
8. Cytotoxic Waste
Cytotoxic drugs are associated with cancer treatment. They contain hazardous substances that pose serious health hazards if improperly disposed of.
The health concerns speak to the implication of improper waste management to human life. The same waste has a bearing on how healthy the environment is. Such waste changes the ecological balance in the following ways.
- Contaminated water harbors diseases, which brings the death of wildlife.
- Emission of dangerous gases that contaminates the air.
The dangers are grave for any medical institution to pass up the opportunity to adopt proper health-waste management solutions. However, the efforts in implementing working solutions should not be driven by the fear of the dangerous effects they pose both to human life and the environment. They too should be viewed from the benefits entities enjoy from the implementation of sound waste management solution programs.
Benefits of Healthcare Solutions in Waste Management
- Social and Environmental Badge of Honour: The focus in today’s global environment is to reduce human impact on the destruction of the ecosystem. Any company involved in such programs is considered a socially and environmentally responsible institution.
- Cost Savings: Taxation and clean up exercises add to the costs that result from improper waste disposal. As with any organization, cost-cutting measures are a welcome thought by medical institutions. Therefore, a collective adoption of proper waste management solutions goes a long way in cutting down on these costs.
It is, therefore, a responsibility of any player in the medical field to adopt policies that take care of life. Proper healthcare solutions in waste management are one such policy.