Working and running a medical facility is stressful work. Not only are you helping patients, but you also must work within all the laws and regulations that apply to the medical waste your facility generates. It can be difficult and complicated to comply, but there are medical waste service options to make it easier. One such option is the mail back option. Here is what you need to know about mail back programs that can help with your biohazard and sharps medical waste disposal.
How Does it Work?
Work with your medical waste service provider to determine if a mail back program is right for your facility. Generally, when you generate medical waste you will mail or ship it out for disposal, as opposed to having it picked up by your medical waste service provider. What you do with each type of waste can vary.
Sharps can be anything that can puncture or pierce. This means that scalpels, glass, needles, lancets, and other sharp objects that can cause injury must be placed in a hard container. Proper sharps medical waste disposal means that the container used must be lockable and labelled correctly.
Soft Medical Waste
Soft medical waste is the opposite of sharps. This includes things like gloves, tubing, and paper products. Anything of that nature that comes in contact with bodily fluids and other dangerous substances. Some of this waste may be too hazardous to mail. It is important to discuss with your medical waste service provider to make sure.
Expired medication cannot be thrown in with the regular trash, or even flushed down a toilet. This can pose a serious public health risk. A mail back program is often perfect for pharmaceutical waste, since they are simple to handle and package.
The Mail Back Process
Your medical waste service provider can give you all the materials you need for a mail back program. This will include materials for storing, packing, and shipping.
First Step: Collection and Sorting
Your service provider will also give you specific instructions for what waste will go in which receptacles. You and your staff should always abide by these instructions. If you don’t, you could be putting people at risk as well as be at risk for fines and penalties.
Second Step: Packaging
Once those containers are full, or after the time period set by your provider, it is time to package. Make sure that everything you are getting ready to mail is properly labeled. That is probably the most important aspect of packaging, other than the materials being in the right containers.
Third Step: The Manifest
You must complete the destruction manifest to ensure compliance with regulations and laws. This will help track everything you dispose of. Fill it out, sign it, and keep them on file.
Fourth Step: Shipping
One of the convenient things about a mail back program is that you don’t have to do anything until a container is full. This can save money since there will not be regular pickups when you do not necessarily need it.
For any medical waste facility, biohazard and sharps medical waste disposal is extremely important. Whether you have regular pickups or use a mail back program, make sure to work with a professional who keeps your company in compliance by getting the job done correctly and safely.