Owning and operating a doctor’s office, medical clinic or hospital isn’t just about providing excellent care. While focusing on patient services is always a big part of the business, it’s also important to manage the environmental impact that your services are having on the community. When it comes to affecting the environment, it’s not just about managing your electricity use and maintaining a sterile environment. Managing proper biomedical waste treatment is one of the most important things that a medical establishment can do to protect the public’s health. Biomedical waste refers to any infectious, pathogenic or other type of waste that is generated as the result of medical care or during medical research performed in a laboratory. In a medical setting, biomedical waste is most commonly seen in the form of blood, bodily fluids and sharps, and if it isn’t handled properly, there can be devastating consequences.
Potentially infectious waste can be dangerous to healthcare workers, environmental services workers, waste removal professionals and the general public. You may not realize how many sources of medical waste there are in your community. Hospitals, urgent care clinics, nursing homes, veterinary clinics, doctor’s offices and even tattoo shops all generate potential infectious biomedical waste each day. Before that waste goes into the landfill, it has to undergo biomedical waste treatment that gets rid of the dangerous elements that it contains.
Properly handling biomedical waste in doctor’s offices, clinics and hospitals includes the proper handling and disposal of medical waste in ways that are in line with local laws. Biomedical waste that is improperly managed puts sanitation workers, healthcare workers and others at risk of contracting a dangerous disease, and complaints regarding the mishandling of biomedical waste are investigated by the county health department in your area. In order to safely and legally dispose of biomedical waste, it must be packaged, labeled and clearly marked per the regulations in your state. The waste must be treated before it’s taken to a dump or city landfills using an onsite autoclave, or via a secondary service, which picks it up and takes it to the facility before it goes to the landfill.