The proper management of healthcare waste majorly relies on upright administration and organization. Adequate legislation and financing play a fundamental role in the active participation of trained and informed staff. Therefore, this requires the head of the hospital to establish a waste management team to develop a waste management plan. The team could include Head of Hospital (as chairperson), Heads of Hospital Departments, Disease Control Officer, Chief Pharmacist, and Radiation Officer, appointed Waste Management Officer, and so on.
Development of a waste management plan
Every member of the waste management team has a responsibility to do a review of prevailing waste management provisions in their area of jurisdiction. Moreover, evaluation of the existing practices should be done in line with the national guidelines and recommendations on how the guidelines are implemented.
The health care waste management plan officer, based on the waste generation survey and these recommendations, should draft a discussion document for waste management. The discussion document should contain information like location and organization of collection and storage facilities. This should be in terms of sketches of the establishment showing selected bag-holder sites for every ward and department in the hospital.
Sketches pointing the central storage site for healthcare waste and the separate area for other waste should be included in the document. There should be specific details on the container types, safety equipment, and preparations for washing and sterilizing waste-collection trolleys. The need for the refrigerated storage facilities is essential when it comes to the document.
It’s essential to have diagrams displaying the pathways of waste-collection trolleys through the hospital. Marked collection routes and schedule for all trolley routes, and the type of waste to be collected is crucial. Another important thing is the number of wards and departments to be visited on a single round. The document should also point out the central storage point in the establishment for that particular waste.
Materials for waste management
Required equipment and human resources needed for waste management should be at the forefront. This should be in terms of highlighting an estimate of the amount and price of containers and collection trolleys. The number of sharps containers and healthcare waste drum containers required annually should be stated out. Additionally, the quantity and cost of yellow and black plastic bags to be used periodically, and personnel needed for waste collection should be determined.
Clear procedures and practices for healthcare management should be at the forefront. There should be emergency plans with instructions on storage or removal of healthcare waste in case of treatment unit failure, closure, or planned maintenance. A fully developed waste management plan with short-term measures completes the implementation waste management system.
The health care waste management plan is of considerable significance to the users as it helps in reducing sharps, medical waste, and pharmaceutical waste. Also, there are cost reductions achieved due to reduced over-classification of garbage. Finally, the risks associated with incorrect disposal and recovery of medications becomes minimal.