All Points Medical Waste Blog
Nursing Homes: What’s Your Medical Waste Plan?
Best practices & tips to ensure compliance
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities continue to sprout up all over the United States, but especially in sunny South Florida, where so many people choose to live out their golden years. As an owner, administrator or manager of such an organization, it’s crucial to have a solid medical waste plan implemented to ensure the health and safety of your residents, their families, staff members and the community. Proper medical waste disposal is also key to remaining OSHA and FDA compliant, which in turn assures that you’ll be able to continue to do the work you do. When it comes to waste disposal, nursing homes and assisted living facilities must adhere to the same standards as doctor’s offices, treatment centers, surgery centers and other medical facilities that provide the same types of care.
Common types of waste generated
Much like other organizations that provide healthcare and related services to patients, nursing homes generate an array of medical waste that must be categorized and disposed of properly. Types of waste include:
- Sharps including needles, lancets, scalpels, razors, etc.
- Gloves, masks, examination table cloths, sheets, robes, etc.
- Medications including expired and unused pills, liquids and injectables
- Gauze, bandages and other items used for wounds and injuries
Proper storage & disposal
If your nursing home or assisted living facility provides medical care to residents, including administering medications and shots, caring for wounds, administering treatments for illnesses including chemotherapy, diabetic care and others, all items used and waste associated with these procedures must be stored and disposed of properly.
Sharps and other materials that can prick or stick individuals must be stored in an approved container. These containers must be readily available where treatments are provided and must be used according to OSHA regulations. Sharps containers must be leak and puncture proof, must have a lid that can be locked and must never be overfilled. They must also be emptied on a regular basis.
Pathological and other hazardous waste such as items soaked with blood or other bodily fluids must be stored in approved red medical waste bags that are leak and puncture proof and these bags must be removed from your premises on a regular basis. Many facilities used large medical waste containers to store their hazardous medical waste inside their red bags.
Partner with a certified provider
The most important step to take after ensuring that you’re properly storing and disposing of your nursing home waste is to work with a certified medical waste disposal provider.
All Points Medical Waste is a locally owned and operated company that provides waste disposal services to nursing homes and many other medical facilities throughout the Treasure Coast and Palm Beach County. Our team is comprised of highly-trained professionals who will ensure that your waste is removed and disposed of according to state and federal guidelines. We’d be happy to create a schedule that works best for your organization, give us a call today at 772.600.4885 to find out more.