Medical waste sterilization became a national topic of conversation in the summer of 1988, when the country found out that hazardous medical waste was being found on the East side of the country, along the Atlantic ocean coastline. Reports of syringes, blood vials and bags of discarded bandages came out of New Jersey, New York and northern areas of New England. The result was a public outcry that the medical community do more to come up with safe, effective medical waste disposal solutions.
As a result of the environmental crises in the late 1980’s and on into the 1990’s, state legislators started working with the EPA to implement much stricter laws regarding the disposal of medical waste at a state and county level, and also enacted much stiffer penalties for not following the new laws. As a result of all these new laws being put into place, companies had to start building new solutions for those who now needed to implement new processes to be compliant with the new laws. The new, state of the art solutions that were introduced included a high-tech autoclave that could be used for sterilizing medical equipment and medical waste easily and safely. The medical autoclave has changed the way medical institutions process their waste, as commercial sized medical centers can now have them installed onsite. This can drastically reduce the cost of waste management for those who are currently relying on a third part company to do the work for them.
Managing medical waste onsite also allows hospitals and other types of medical establishments to easily track them movement of their medical waste, as part of the new guidelines require that every step of the process be recorded and tracked. This is just another way of thoroughly managing the medical waste process in order to prevent another environmental crisis like the one seen on America’s beaches. By continuing to follow the legal guidelines for medical waste sterilization and effective disposal techniques, medical professionals and their leadership teams can work together to ensure that they are doing everything they can to protect their patients, employees, visitors and the community from harm.