Whether we’re taking a pet to the vet, donating blood, undergoing surgery, having a root canal, or rushing to urgent care because of a broken arm, we need the medical facilities in our communities to be clean, well-run, and full of knowledgeable experts. At Medical Waste Disposal, we are proud to take out the trash so Arizona medical facilities can provide their patients world-class facilities and care.

Though we just said we “take out the trash,” our service is far more than that because the “trash” we pick up is no ordinary landfill fodder. This is trash that can bring communities to their knees if it isn’t taken care of correctly. Medical waste comes in many forms that require special handling. Whether it’s a bunch of tools contaminated with chemotherapy liquids, a bunch of bloody bandages, or hundreds of used syringes from a flu clinic, medical trash presents a significant risk unless it is carefully handled. That is why we not only pick up medical trash, we burn, bury, and smash it according to stringent guidelines. We understand the lives and the environments at risk, and we take our responsibility very seriously.

We all depend on businesses that create hazardous medical waste, and those businesses depend on Medical Waste Disposal. If you run a medical facility or even a morgue, the following are reasons why you need to take your waste extremely seriously and get our team on your team.

Why You Need to Contact Medical Waste Disposal in Arizona

Proper Medical Waste Disposal Protects the Community

The families, elderly, and singles living in Arizona’s cities and towns all face unique health challenges at one point or another. Some of them donate blood. Some have pets. When something happens and they have to turn to doctor, dentist, or vet, they are already in trouble and needing help. Even if they aren’t injured and are just giving blood, if they get infected at a blood bank due to inferior waste disposal, it can have cataclysmic effects on their lives. At the end of the day, if you’re a health professional of any sort, you have a huge impact on your patients’ lives and futures. However, the impact of your practice goes much further than your town.

Unfortunately, a lot of medical waste is disposed of improperly by businesses who seem to just want to save money. The environment takes the hit, which eventually circles back around to all of us. We live here, after all! Here are just a few of the dangerous results of tossing medical waste improperly:

  • Ruined soil from infectious blood dumped into landfills
  • Contaminated and very dangerous syringes washing up on beaches
  • Air and drinking water rendered infectious by dangerous pathogens

When medical waste is disposed of improperly, the healthy are put at risk, and the already-sick get hit again. It is unacceptable. We are here to make it easy for you to keep your patients, your practice, and your environment safe!

Disposing of Medical Waste Improperly Brings Financial Penalties

If you’re reading this as the owner of a health care business owner, we understand how important your business is to your quality of life. We also understand that running a business is difficult! You don’t know how difficult it can be until you do it, and medical businesses can be especially challenging to keep on track. The stakes are higher, as well, because you have a big impact on the wellbeing of the people in your community.

While many people seem to grasp the fact that their patients’ comfort and wellbeing is on the line, they don’t always realize that the financial well being of their business is also on the line. This is especially true for caretakers who work in the trenches, so it’s very important that they understand just how important proper waste disposal actually is. Everyone in the practice has a responsibility for keeping it in good standing with laws and regulations, and that means training is key.
If a practice isn’t disposing of waste correctly and they get caught, they will owe money to pretty much everyone, especially if their community has suffered direct injury. The practice will have to cover that injury, other damages, and severe federal penalties. Additionally, there are some damages that medical malpractice insurance doesn’t cover, and the practice will have to pay those. On top of all that, there will be plenty of legal fees and restitution. It’s important to note that in a situation like this, the practice is fully responsible even if they used a medical waste removal company. The team at Medical Waste Disposal fully knows what you have on the line, and that is why follow every procedure to the letter. We are here to protect your practice, not hurt it, and we take this responsibility extremely seriously.

You may ask yourself: If an independent medical waste disposal company could get me in trouble, why would I hire one? You aren’t the only one to ask that question! Here’s the thing: medical waste disposal regulations are different state-to-state. They change. They’re complex and extremely particular. Even if you somehow have the time to learn every policy and regulation by heart, that’s still not enough. You need the energy and time to enforce those policies to the letter, and depending on how big your practice is, you won’t have time for anything else. You should not be managing your medical waste yourself. It’s our job to know exactly what the best practices are and what the government says should happen to medical waste, and we do. We know the policies and regulations like the backs of our hands, and we will hold both ourselves and your practice to them.

Improper Medical Waste Disposal Will Ruin Your Reputation

Everybody needs medical care. However, lots of people are trying to provide it. No matter what size your Arizona community may be, the success of your healthcare practice depends on your reputation. If your facility smells bad, features full containers and improperly disposed waste, people will notice. They will go other places and tell those they know to avoid you. As a result, running a clean, honest practice is the bare minimum. If you want to be competitive, you need to set a firm foundation first, and medical disposal is a huge player in that foundation.

Even if an employee makes an unintentional mistake and contamination spreads because of it, people will remember. It might be food poisoning or a small infection, but it will still have a big impact on your practice and can get you into legal trouble, maybe even jail. In the very worst case, a patient could die due to improperly-handled medical waste. Once people start avoiding your practice, or worse, filing suits against it, you may be completely ruined. Why? Because rebuilding a reputation takes years and tons of work. Bad reputations not only push prospective patients away; they make medical experts steer clear of you, preventing you from building a world-class team.

Correct medical waste disposal is the bare minimum. Let us take care of that for you so you can focus on propelling your practice as high as possible and helping as many people as you can reach.

Sloppy Medical Waste Disposal Puts You on the Wrong Side of the Law

Two of the most expensive services in the world are medical … and legal. If you work in the healthcare industry or deal with medical waste in your job, you probably have a lot on your hands just keeping your practice afloat. The whole legal side is huge, complex, and dangerous to practices that don’t adhere to it perfectly. Policies and regulations are astronomical when it comes to medical care, and that’s how it should be. Patients need to be protected, and the people who treat them need to know exactly how to do it correctly.

As we mentioned previously, even if your practice is doing everything correctly, if you contract with a medical disposal company and that company messes up, the responsibility comes back to you. That is why it is so incredibly important to find a dependable medical waste disposal company. You need a team of experts who understand disposal laws on both the state and federal levels. You need a team who will follow those laws to the letter and protect your patients and your practice, allowing you to focus on growing your practice and helping more people. Medical Waste Disposal is that team. We take our responsibility to Arizona practices extremely seriously, and we never cut corners.

Improper Disposal of Medical Waste Puts You and Your Patients in Danger

If you’re in the healthcare business, you’re there to help people – to give your patients better health and give your employees jobs. Nobody gets into the healthcare business to ruin people’s lives, but unfortunately, it can happen. Medical waste has the capacity to kill both patients and employees, and though that is the worst-case scenario, it has happened. Even if death doesn’t result from negligence or improper methods, personal injury is a serious consequence and cost your practice a lot of money (and its reputation). Getting every single piece of medical waste where it needs to go simply isn’t an option. We are here to help your practice stay on-track whether you run a blood bank, a laboratory, a family practice, or a veterinary office. Let us help you protect your Arizona community!

Who Regulates Medical Practices?

We’ve mentioned a bunch of laws and policies, but where do they come from? Who made them? Who enforces them? As it turns out, it’s kind of complex. That is why it is so important to have experts like ours, who understand the different levels and how to keep everything on track. If you run a practice, you’ve got the following entities looking over your shoulder.

Your State

Almost all 50 of the United States have medical waste regulations. They are all based on the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), but they vary a lot from state to state. Some states draw on the Medical Waste Tracking Act, and others ignore it completely. Common regulations usually cover storage, packaging, and transportation of medical waste.

Despite the numerous differences among states, you will find that each state’s environmental protection agency is usually the one responsible for creating and enforcing medical waste management and disposal regulations. In a few states, the department of health may play a big role, but that isn’t the case in Arizona.

OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has a significant hand in regulating medical waste. OSHA can operate on both a federal and a state level. Because OSHA’s purpose is to protect the employee, it is most involved with sharps, medical waste bag labeling, and employee training. Even though these standards were created to prevent employees from being exposed to bloodborne pathogens, they have the happy effect of supporting the systematic disposal of medical waste and therefore benefit the environment and the public.

Some states have their own medical waste regulations, but they rarely conflict with OSHA’s. Instead, the two usually echo each other, and it can actually be a great thing, because one will offer more detailed requirements and bring a lot of clarity to employees. A good rule of thumb is to follow the more stringent guidelines, and if your state has no guidelines in a certain area, use OSHA’s.

U.S. EPA Regulations

The Environmental Protection Agency no longer plays a big role in medical waste disposal regulations, it does regulate the incinerators and chemicals that eliminate medical waste. At Medical Waste Disposal, we have full knowledge of the EPA’s requirements, and we carefully follow each one in order to protect the Arizona businesses we serve.

DOT Regulations

You might wonder why the Department of Transportation has any concern with medical waste, but when that waste is in-transit to a facility, it is definitely the DOT’s concern. The DOT considers medical waste a hazardous material (and rightly so), and its regulations largely apply to those who transport the waste. We know these regulations by heart, and would be happy to share them with you so you know just what we do.

Do you work in a hospital? A veterinarian’s office? A dental office? If you answered “yes” to any of those locations, you are among the part of the population that has a special responsibility to protect communities from dangerous waste. People desperately need the services you provide, but they get to leave your office after treatment without a second thought for the needles, bandages, gloves, clothing, and other tools used to give them care. The responsibility for these dangerous materials belongs to you.

At Medical Waste Disposal, we are the allies of hard-working medical professionals in Arizona. We understand what exactly is on the line, and we know how hectic daily life in a medical office can be. That is why we have developed complete systems for managing, picking up, and disposing of medical and biohazardous waste. In today’s blog, we want to discuss the differences between biohazardous waste and medical waste. Knowing exactly what separates the two (and ensuring your team knows the differences as well) can empower your team to be the best it can be. Read on to learn more!

Know the Difference Between Biohazard Waste and Medical Waste

It can be easy to confuse biohazard waste and medical waste because they often require the same disposal methods. However, the differences are very important.

How to Identify Medical Waste

Generally, medical waste is free of contaminated cultures. It usually includes dry bandages, dried blood, empty containers, and other materials that aren’t biohazardous. While it doesn’t always present as high a treat as biohazardous waste, it still needs to be treated properly or it can cause severe health problems in communities.

How to Identify Biohazardous Waste

This type of waste is sometimes classified as “medical” because it is generated by medical facilities. However, it is also generated by funeral homes, dental offices, and veterinary offices. It comes in many different forms, including liquids, dry forms, sharps, body parts, and anatomical specimens. It must be handled correctly because it includes infectious agents, bacteria, viruses, bodily fluids, and blood. This means separate containers for different types of waste that are optimally set apart from one another to prevent the wrong type of waste being put into the wrong container. It is too easy for that to happen when people are in a rush.

Choosing the Best Service for Your Practice

Dealing with biohazardous and medical waste needs to be done carefully. Your containers should always be labeled clearly to prevent confusion. It is also important to keep your containers far away from patients so infections don’t spread.

While well-funded, large facilities can dispose of their own waste, it is generally a better idea to contact a waste removal service like Medical Waste Disposal. We can ensure that your facility is compliant, provide you with containers, and dispose of your medical waste correctly. Our elite team of waste disposal experts is here to give you peace of mind as you grow your practice to the next level in Arizona. Contact us to learn more today!