Anybody who has ever spent time in a hospital can confirm that there is a large amount of garbage created by patients and staff. With the goal of returning patients to health, it’s challenging to keep everyone safe while still following appropriate guidelines for the disposal of medical waste. But there are many steps patients and hospital employees can take to decrease the amount of trash being produced. Here are some simple tips for reducing waste in hospitals.
Create a Plan
A waste management plan is crucial for any business but is especially vital in hospitals where medical waste becomes a significant factor. The first step is to create a team that will be responsible for devising a waste plan. The group will then present the new program to the rest of the staff. There should be specific procedures put in place for dealing with each of the various types of trash being produced, including for medical waste. After the plan has been implemented, the group will then look for ways to improve their process and look for ways to reduce waste further.
Communication is vital for any plan to succeed, especially one where members of the general public play a role. One of the best ways to reduce waste in hospitals is to post signs clearly marking the designated purpose of each trash or recycling receptacle. This is critical for medical waste, which must be put into specific trash cans for safe disposal. Posting signs marking what each waste receptacle is for also reduces occurrences of many common mistakes made when recycling or throwing away garbage.
Sustainable and Reusable
The best tips for reducing waste in hospitals revolve around making the hospital more sustainable. One way to do this is to go paperless by digitizing your records. Another easy step is to install hand dryers in the restrooms instead of paper towels. There are also many tools that can be sanitized and reused, including many of the metal items used to perform various procedures. Reusable patient gowns instead of disposable ones are another great way to lower the hospital’s solid waste output. Finally, work with local recycling centers and garbage companies to ensure compliance with all local laws and regulations, as well as to find more ways to decrease the amount of garbage being produced.