Category Archives: Healthcare Industry

LabCorp

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, more commonly known as LabCorp, is an American S&P 500 company with headquarters in North Carolina. LabCorp has one of the largest networks of clinical laboratories in the world. 36 primary laboratories are located within the United States.

About LabCorp:

LabCorp was an early pioneer of genomic testing using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology, at its Center for Molecular Biology and Pathology in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. It also performs other molecular diagnostics, and does oncology testing, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) genotyping and phenotyping.

LabCorp operates the National Genetics Institute, Inc. (NGI) in Los Angeles, California which develops PCR testing methods. Its ViroMed facility performs real-time PCR microbial testing using laboratory-developed assays. The largest volume of specialty testing is performed at its headquarters; the Center for Esoteric Testing in Burlington, North Carolina.

They utilize seven PA-31-350′s and one PC-12 aircraft on nightly runs from Burlington, NC for use on the East Coast.

LabCorp also operates in Puerto Rico and in three Canadian provinces.

Locations:

LabCorp has 36 primary lab locations across the United States.

You can use the LabCorp laboratory locator to find a lab closest to you.

Hours:

Each location will have its own hours, so you will need to check the location details before scheduling your appointment or walking in.

Some services (like drug testing) are only available during certain hours. Check before you come in!

Appointments:

Appointments need to be made at least two hours in advance.

Walk-ins are also welcome.

Please note:Not all labs offer all services. You need to check with each location.

Labs are generally the busiest from opening until 10:00 AM. Unless you are required to fast, it’s best to schedule an appointment during off-peak hours.

If you are looking for a specific kind of test, LabCorp’s test menu provides a comprehensive list of specialty and general laboratory testing services.  

LabCorp is enhancing your check- in experience.

You can now use your phone, tablet or computer to schedule a visit, input the paperwork you need for your appointment and receive confirmations by text or email with LabCorp PreCheck.

Walking inis also faster with LabCorp Express. You scan your driver’s license or other state-issued ID the first time you visit, then input you insurance information. Pick the reason for your visit and LabCorp Express will provide you with the next available appointment.

Best of all, every time you return to LabCorp, they will remember you as a returning patient, saving you time for future check ins.

What should you bring?

  • The LabCorp test request form requesting the laboratory testing (Your healthcare professional should give this to you or send it directly to the lab)
  • A current insurance identification card (Medicare, Private Insurance or HMO/PPO).You can look up insurance carriers filed by LabCorp.
  • A photo ID (for example, a driver’s license or employee identification badge)
  • Cash, a health spending account card, credit card, or account debit card.

LabCorp staff will make the specimen collection process as safe, quick, and comfortable as possible while safeguarding your dignity and privacy.

Children must be supervised at all times while at our labs. Please plan ahead.

Payment:

There are a variety of payment options.  LabCorp offers you convenient online options for paying bills, updating insurance information, and sending secure emails to the LabCorp billing department.

LabCorp will file claims directly to Medicare, Medicaid, and many insurance companies and managed care plans.

LabCorp offers a Sign-and-Go Preauthorized Credit Card Option.

If you do not have insurance or your health care benefits do not cover clinical laboratory testing services, you will have to pay for the tests performed by LabCorp before specimen collection services are performed.

  • Certain routine tests are available at discounted prices through the LabAccess Partnership Program. To take advantage of this program, you must have your specimen collected at a LabCorp patient service center, and you must pay for your test in full at the time of service.
  • An automated payment collection process is available at many of our patient service centers, as well as certain doctor’s offices where a phlebotomist (person who performs blood draws) is on site to perform specimen collection services for LabCorp.
  • We accept cash, personal checks, and all major credit cards.

If you need additional assistance, LabCorp offers programs to address those patients who have true financial needs, including:

  • Special payment plans for financial hardship
  • Indigent request from physician/facility
  • LabAccess Partnership program

Please call us at 800-845-6167 for more information about these programs.

We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

Medical Waste Disposal Services 

MedWaste’s Blog Index

Medical Waste Regulations

Medical Waste Products 

Home Generated Medical Waste Drop-Off Points In California

Quest Diagnostics Labs

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated is an American clinical laboratory founded in 1967. They became an independent corporation in 1996. Quest Diagnostics operates in United States, United Kingdom, Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico, and has a lab in India. Quest Diagnostics also consult and collaborate with hospitals and clinics globally to interpret unusual lab results and develop testing that is  more efficient and specific.

Locations

Quest Diagnostics have more than 2,200 Patient Service Centers nationwide. Find a Quest Diagnostics Location.

Appointments:

You can Make an Appointment  online or call the automated system:  (888)277-8772.

Quest Diagnostics does take walk-ins, but keep in mind that walk-ins will usually need to spend some time waiting. Scheduling is recommended; besides for keeping your in-and-out time more predictable, it also gives you the option of getting pre-appointment emails with useful information and reminders about the specific test you will be getting.

If you still need to walk in, keep in mind that Quest Diagnostics Patient Service Centers are usually busiest in the early morning. You may want to avoid arriving before nine thirty.

Payment and Billing:

Quest Diagnostics is accepted by most health insurance providers. They accept most major credit cards, debit cards, and health savings account cards. They offer paperless billing, online bill paying, and payment options like Easy Pay™. They also offer Payment Assistance, for patients who qualify.

Services:

Quest offers more than 3,500 kinds of lab tests and screenings. Some of the tests are common (screening for diabetes) and some are hard to find anywhere else.

Quest Diagnostics collect enough specimen for thorough testing. They follow the highest standards for testing in the industry.

Fast results. Quest employs  3,500 drivers and pilots deliver specimens to Quest Diagnostics laboratories as fast as possible.

Easy Access. Patients can access lab results digitally through MyQuest™, another cool service offered by Quest Diagnostics.

Physician Assistance. Services are not only for patients! Quest Diagnostics also offers a host of information and services for physicians. They have 650 Specialists, including MDs and PhDs, to help doctors interpret lab results and develop a plan of action. They also offer cutting-edge testing, which they continually research and develop.

Esoteric Test Options. Quest Diagnostics offers highly specialized tests that most normal labs don’t perform. They have more than 1,500 Esoteric Test Options,  utilizing cutting-edge technologies. These include  innovative applications of gene sequencing, bioinformatics, mass spectrometry, digital pathology and  proteomics to  meet the diagnostic needs of a wider variety of patients.

From personal experience and from reading many customer reviews, I feel like I can vouch for the quality of service at Quest Diagnostics.

Their technicians are both skilled and compassionate and they really know their medical waste management protocols.

I check for Waste Containers and chat with the technicians when I need to get a test done. I walk out relieved because it wasn’t an ordeal, (maybe even a relatively pleasant experience), and impressed with their knowledge of lab protocol.

Before you go:

*Parking differs from location to location. Double check the information to make sure it applies to the location you will be visiting.

*Bring the following to your appointment:

 The lab order from your doctor. Doctors usually send the lab order electronically and you may not even have received a backup copy. If this is the case, call ahead to check if the order was sent and/or received by the Quest Diagnostics lab.

 – Photo identification

 – Current health insurance information

It’s important to also know if your test requires fasting the day before and/or morning of your appointment. Your healthcare provider should have indicated this on your lab order or during your visit. If you are not sure, call to check with your provider.

_________

We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

Medical Waste Disposal Services 

MedWaste’s Blog Index

Medical Waste Regulations

Medical Waste Products 

Home Generated Medical Waste Drop-Off Points In California

 

Reducing the Impact of Hospital Medical Waste – One Red Bag at a Time

A study published this last June has shed light on an alarming statistic for hospitals. If the healthcare system of the United States were a country, it would rank 13th in the world for hazardous greenhouse gas emissions. Published in PLOS ONE, the study unveils the environmental and health impact of our country’s health care industry.

Previously, investigators had only looked at the amounts of energy used by medical facilities in the United States, estimating that they were contributing 8% of the country’s greenhouse gases. This number changes dramatically when you begin to factor in other variables, such as medical waste disposal inside of hospital.

While hospitals are meant to secure the health and safety of the population, the methods are at the same time having a negative effect on public health. Due to the sheer number of harmful materials being produced during the course of health care in the United States, it is estimated that the pollutants generated are responsible for 470,000 DALYs annually. DALY – disability adjusted life years – is the measurement of years lost due to health issues, disabilities and premature death.

That number is comparable to the number of lives lost each year due to preventable medical errors as reported by the Institute of Medicine in 1999. That report sparked outrage, and major reform for patient safety in health care facilities. As this is of similar magnitude, it is important that health care providers take note of it now, and begin initiating practices that help to reduce their carbon footprint.

Medical Waste Disposal and the Environment

The way in which you are disposing of your hospital’s medical waste can make a drastic impact on your contribution to greenhouse gases. The production and then destruction of disposable products, such as red bags, emit dangerous gases into the breathing air. To reduce this, some hospitals have resorted to reusable containers where ever possible, especially in the transport of medical waste from its origination site to the storage area.

These containers follow all of the same guidelines outlined by the federal and state government, yet because they are being cleaned and reused continually, their use is reducing greenhouse gases. Just replacing the red bags in certain areas will make a big difference. Consider the tens of thousands you might use each year, and then multiply that number by the number of hospitals around the country. Once you begin to look at those numbers on a nationwide, or even statewide, scale you can see how the methods you use for medical waste disposal are a huge contributor to greenhouse gases.

Speak with MedWaste Management pros about actions you can take to reduce the amount of products being used to remove medical waste from your facility. Together, our mission can be to protect the inhabitants of the entire planet, not just the patients inside of our facility.

199 Cases Where Toxic Agents Almost Slipped Through the Cracks

The Federal Select Agent Program conducted their first ever annual report, discovering 199 instances where lab technicians were inadvertently exposed to toxic or infectious substances last year. Luckily, all of these were near misses. Yet they do unearth a need for continued education and high standards when it comes to the handling and removal of samples from laboratories across the nation.

The Federal Select Agent Program is responsible for overseeing dangerous substances that are studied inside of federal, state, private and academic labs. These substances include things like the bird flu, Ebola virus and even anthrax. New regulations were issued to the agency in 2014, resulting in an overall inspection of the handling of certain dangerous elements. It was during this inspection that agents found 199 cases where a lab worker was a breath away from becoming infected with a potentially deadly agent.

The safe handling of certain dangerous agents has been a focus ever since it was reported by the CDC that several labs had mishandled dangerous pathogens in the past, putting the entire surrounding population at serious risk of mass infection. As a result, the CDC, Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture are now working jointly on a task force that works solely to monitor these labs and their medical waste disposal procedures among other things.

In total, there were 12 potential losses uncovered, and a total of 233 potential releases of toxic agents. When investigated further, it was found that all of the potential losses could be traced to either a clerical error or of samples being destroyed in an autoclave by mistake. Medical waste disposal for laboratories has to include education on which types of agents are acceptable for that type of destruction. With some toxins, the autoclave will actually release harmful gases, putting the lab worker at risk of infection when the mechanism is opened.

As for the 233 potential releases of a toxic agent, there were 199 instances in which a lab technician may have been exposed by error. This included an instance where viable Anthrax had mistakenly left a military base and was sent to a number of outside laboratories both in the US and abroad. Luckily, none of these potential releases resulted in illness, death or the spread of infection to any surrounding area.

Medical waste disposal for laboratories is often of a much larger scope than in other types of facilities. Not for the amount of medical waste being generated, but for the types of agents and toxins it may have been exposed to. Laboratories that are operating as research agencies need to be acutely aware of the types of substances they are disposing of, and ensure that it is being segregated away from any typical medical waste and common garbage.

Do You Know Where Your Surgery Center’s Medical Waste Will Eventually End Up?

The journey of medical waste begins the moment it is removed from the human body. In a surgery center, it could be a small tumor that has been removed or tissue samples after a procedure. Here it is placed inside of a biological waste bag before being transported to a designated pick up area.

At the Pick Up Area for Medical Waste

The pick up area inside of your surgery center should be removed from patient rooms and surgical suites. There should be outside door access to reduce the risk of contamination from the materials being brought back inside the facility. It should also be locked, without access only permitted to authorized personnel. This would include drivers for the biological waste disposal company you work with.

Pick Up of Medical Waste

Licensed drivers in state approved vehicles will arrive at your facility for pick up. They will note the amount and types of medical waste reserved for destruction, and ask for signatures from authorized members of your staff. You will also be provided with documentation proving that they retrieved the medical waste from your surgery center.

If you are using reusable containers for medical waste, these may be switched out during this time. The drivers will take your full containers and provide you with sterilized new ones to use.

The medical waste retrieved from your surgery center will then be hauled to a special treatment facility. This facility should have special licensing from the state that allows them to dispose of medical waste from surgery centers.

Inside the Medical Waste Treatment Facility

Once the medical waste reaches a treatment facility, it is segregated by type, depending on the color of the bag or other container. The bags are left unopened, and either put into an autoclave until sanitary or incinerated. If autoclaved, the waste is then further broken down to reduce the amount of waste left over. This is typically done by shredding the materials. In most instances, materials that have been subjected to an autoclave can then be added to regular trash in an ordinary landfill.

Some plastics might even be recycled after having been sterilized inside of an autoclave. The material left over is then reused in a way that will decrease the impact your surgical center has on the environment.

Regulated Medical Waste Disposal Companies

While the licensing and regulation of medical waste disposal transporters and companies may vary slightly from state to state, all have to adhere to stringent guidelines set forth by OSHA, the EPA and various other governmental bodies. This is to ensure the safety of workers inside of your surgery center, as well as the general population and the environment.

Make sure that when you are looking at ways to better manage the biological waste inside of your surgery center, you are checking that these licensing requirements are being met. This will ensure that your facility is in compliance at all times with all laws and regulations.

The Importance of Biological Waste Disposal for Doctor’s Offices

You are likely already familiar with the terminology biological waste, and those bright red bags that yell out “handle with caution”. But do you know exactly what is supposed to go inside (and not), and what happens to it once it leaves your office? There are risks associated with the handling of biological waste in doctor’s offices, and severe consequences if not completed correctly.

Biological – or biohazardous – waste is defined as being any waste that contains potentially infectious agents. These are found in any area where human blood and tissues are exposed, such as in your doctor’s office. Some common examples include:

  • Bodily Fluids – This includes amniotic fluid, semen, saliva, pleural fluid and vaginal secretions.
  • Microbiological Waste – Usually the byproducts of laboratory testing, such as live viruses, blood samples, specimen cultures and the devices used to transfer them.
  • Blood Products – Blood, plasma and any other tissues or fluids containing blood residue.
  • Pathological Waste – Pathological waste refers to any organic object that is identifiable as being human in source, such as body parts, tissues and organs.
  • Sharps Waste – Items, such as needles, that not only potentially contain harmful pathogens from biological waste but that also have the potential to pierce skin and transfer those pathogens into the blood stream of another individual.

In 1988, the US Congress enacted the Medical Waste Tracking act, which allowed them to study the methods of medical waste disposal for doctor’s offices and begin regulating it. As a result, all medical waste must now be collected by a company with a specific license for handling hazardous products. They are then held responsible for rendering it harmless by using one of the following methods:

  • Incineration: The EPA estimates that up to 90% of all biohazardous waste is being incinerated. This must be done by a licensed contractor, either on or off of the site where medical waste is collected. Incineration offers many benefits besides sterilizing, such as reducing the overall amount of waste and avoiding having to sterilize it before breaking it down.
  • Autoclaving: When medical waste from doctor’s offices is subject to an autoclave, this usually entails two steps. The first is the sterilization of the waste using intense steam, followed by shredding the materials. This usually allows for the waste to then be disposed of in a typical landfill.

As the administrator for a doctor’s office, you have the responsibility of ensuring that medical waste disposal is being conducted in a manner that reduces its risk to your patients, staff, and the environment. Your optimal choice in guaranteeing this is by working with a professional medical waste disposal company. Not only can a company like MedWaste Management sterilize and destroy medical waste generated inside of your doctor’s office, they can help you to put a system in place for its safe collection and storage.

OSHA Weighs in on Blood Collection Tubes and Recycling

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) oversees practices and policies that could be hazardous to the physical well-being of workers in any field. With health care workers, one of their primary concerns is with the safe handling of sharps. Needle pricks may be small cuts to the skin, but the potential to introduce disease into a worker makes them a high risk to work with.

Not only has OSHA addressed the risk potential of sharps by demanding the use of special containers for their collection, they have furthered their cause by making recommendations for the use of tube holders. These devices are typically attached to the needle in order to facilitate the collection of blood when it is being drawn. In the past, some hospitals and other medical labs have attempted to reuse these tube holders to cut costs, yet to do so is putting the health of workers at risk.

Blood Collection Needles and Tube Holders

A blood collection needle is able to screw onto a blood tube holder, and a blood tube is inserted into the holder to collect the blood. The needle has two ends, one which is inserted into the laboratory patient, and one at the back the transports the blood into the blood tube. Modern blood tube holders can be reused, but are not in most circumstances in order to minimize a worker’s exposure to blood. The process of removing the tube holder from the needle increases the possibility that the health care provider will be injured by a needle stick.

Proper medical waste disposal for laboratories does not allow for the removal of tube holders before placing the needle inside of the sharps collection bin. OSHA specifically recommends that needles be disposed of immediately after use, including any blood tube holder that is attached to it. Removing this holder places worker’s at too high of a risk for possible injury and exposure to harmful blood pathogens.

There are very limited circumstances for when a contaminated needle or other sharp is allowed to be manipulated after its use. To do so, you will have to show that the action is required in order to complete a specific medical or dental procedure. Trying to save money on your laboratory costs by reusing parts of contaminated needles and collection devices is in violation of the standards set forth by OSHA.

According to OSHA, the appropriate disposal of contaminated sharps includes:

  • The close availability of sharp containers that contain an opening large enough to pass the entire blood collection assembly, including the blood tube holder.
  • Having sharp containers made portable for those employees who move between various patient rooms.

If you have your own questions or concerns about medical waste disposal in your laboratory, and how to handle sharps, MedWaste Management can help. With our expert methods, you will have no problem in meeting the demands of OSHA when it comes to medical waste disposal inside of your laboratory.

Medical Waste Disposal for Surgery Centers is a Leading Method for Protecting Our Planet

Medical waste disposal for surgery centers and large hospitals is arguably one of the most critical types of waste management in terms of protecting our environment. Administrators sometimes fail to realize that just a few small adjustments will significantly reduce the generated medical waste inside of a hospital, leading to a dramatic change in their impact on the environment.

Surgery Centers, and all health care related businesses, have different waste disposal requirements than other industry types. For example, the use of red bags is critical for identifying medical waste and ensuring that it is disposed of in accordance with local, state and federal law. Failure to do this will not only lead to fines, it could pose a public health hazard for an entire community.

There are a number of proven ways in which a hospital can save money with its medical and other waste disposal practices:

  • Switching from disposable to reusable sharps containers. The New York City Department of Sanitation estimates that a 1,000 bed hospital that makes this change would save up to $175,000 per year and 34,000 pounds of medical waste.
  • Using permanent waterproof mattresses when possible. The Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland Oregon switched out 95% of their disposable mattresses for permanent ones. The initial cost was large, but recouped in just one year. The savings in purchase costs are now $80,710 per year for this 341 bed facility, and they are contributing 16,350 pounds less of waste to the environment.
  • Replacing disposable diapers with cloth versions. Kaiser Permanente’s Northwest Region made a change from disposable to cloth diapers for newborns, resulting in a decrease in the amount of solid waste left in local landfills. Before implementing a change of this magnitude however, you need to address concerns related to infection control and infant skin care.

There is no real way of reducing medical waste generated by a hospital, short of cutting down on the patient load, but you can make a difference by switching the type. For example, you are always going to have to dispose of contaminated sharps, but switching to a type of container that can be sterilized and reused will help cut down on solid waste.

Effective medical waste disposal for hospitals not only addresses and removes these items from the facility, it looks for ways in which the hospital can save money and have a decreased impact on the environment. You can also try and use products that have been made using recycled materials to further help our planet. Even small hospitals can make a significant difference with simple changes in waste management and disposal.

Start by contacting MedWaste Management for more effective methods of medical waste disposal inside hospitals. Efficiency ensures that your management of medical waste is having a minimal financial and environmental impact.

Biological Waste Disposal for Dental Offices

Biological Waste Disposal for Dental Offices

The Do’s and Don’ts of Biological Waste Disposal for Dental Offices

The handling of biological waste in your dental office may not seem like it should be a priority for you, but it is to a number of different government agencies for various reasons. In order to stay out of trouble with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and your local authorities, follow these basic rules for biological waste disposal for dental offices:

  • Do educate yourself and your employees on the rules and regulations surrounding biological waste and its correct handling and disposal processes.
  • Do work with a licensed and insured medical waste disposal company that is familiar with the specific needs of a dental office.
  • Do ensure that any plan devised for the management of biological waste inside of your dental office is specific to the needs of your facility.
  • Do place sharps containers in areas that are easily accessible to dental care providers as they work with patients.
  • Do make sure that all employees in your office are able to identify and segregate medical waste from common trash.

While that may all seem simple enough, you will quickly see that proper biological waste management is a lot more about what you should NOT do:

  • Don’t allow your medical waste to get mixed in with your regular trash.
  • Don’t place any sharps, including metal wires used for braces, inside of a plastic bag that can be punctured.
  • Don’t forget to label all biological waste containers with your office name, address and telephone number.
  • Don’t allow biological waste to be emptied into a container that has not been labeled for its collection.
  • Don’t let biological waste be put inside of a reusable container loosely. Always ensure that it is secured inside of a red bag or sharps container first.
  • Don’t allow biohazard containers, bags and sharps containers to become more than 3/4 full before replacing it with an empty container.
  • Don’t mistake amalgam, silver, lead foil packets and caustic cleaning agents as biological waste. These are all classified differently and need to be handled separate from the medical waste disposal containers in your dental office.
  • Don’t attempt to take on biological waste disposal management by yourself. Mistakes in practices and procedures will not only lead to large fines, they could pose a major public health hazard.

No matter how small your dental practice is, it is not wise to just wash your biological waste down the drain. Educate yourself on the local and federal regulations for medical waste, and then pass that knowledge down to all of your employees. It may seem like a lot of work for a modest office, but once you have your biological waste disposal company in place, all of your trash should end up where it belongs.

Biological Waste Disposal for Doctors Offices

Biological Waste Disposal for Doctor’s Offices

Is Your Doctor’s Office Complying With all Biological Waste Standards?

Biological waste disposal inside of a doctor’s office is ultimately the responsibility of the facility. Managing it can be a complicated issue, especially when trying to decipher the various regulations issued by state, local and federal governing bodies. One suggestion for a smaller doctor’s office would be to designate the packaging and transport within to a small team of employees that have been given special training for this responsibility.

Why is Biological Waste Packaging and Disposal Heavily Regulated?

A doctor’s office is responsible for the safe collection, packaging and disposal of all biological and hazardous waste generated during the course of patient care. This will include red plastic bags, sharps containers, and any other biohazardous waste. If your doctor’s office does not comply with the safe containment of biological waste and its disposal, you are potentially creating a community health issue and could face fines issued by the state and federal government.

The nature of biological waste poses a health hazard, particularly from bloodborne diseases. This is a multi-pronged issue, as there is a risk to healthcare workers, handlers, the public and the environment. For this reason, OSHA, EPA, and the FDA all have created certain guidelines for the safe transport and destruction of biological waste in doctor’s offices.

Special trash receptacles are used for the collection of biological waste at its source. Red plastic bags that are used for medical waste must be tear resistant and marked clearly to distinguish it from other trash. If using reusable containers, these must be constructed to not leak, preferably using gaskets at the opening door to prevent any leakage if accidentally overturned.

The collection of sharps is always as close as possible to the source of contamination, typically exam rooms. These are disposed of immediately in a sharps container by the health care professional who handled it. The FDA also state that a sharps container not be filled to more than 3/4 of its capacity to prevent accidental injury to an employee. Having the sharps container regularly changed out will ensure that your doctor’s offices meet that standard.

All sharps containers must also be:

  • Made using a highly durable and puncture proof plastic
  • Closeable, with a tight fitting lid that does not allow sharps placed inside to be pulled back out
  • Able to stand upright or be mounted onto a wall in an upright position
  • Leak proof, both along the bottom and sides
  • Labeled as a biological waste container containing sharp objects

Special attention is given to sharps by the FDA and OSHA because of their ability to immediately pierce the skin and introduce a bloodborne pathogen directly into the handler’s bloodstream. Ensure your doctor’s office is always in compliance with these regulations to avoid any transmission of disease to one of your healthcare employees.

Biological waste disposal for doctor’s offices is complicated, and does require a lot of work to stay up to date and compliant. Your best recourse is to work directly with a disposal company that can train your employees how to transport any biological waste from its source, and who will pick it up at your facility and transport it securely to a destination where it will safely be destroyed without harming the environment.

Biological Waste Disposal for Hospitals

Biological Waste Disposal for Hospitals

The Risk Posed to Healthcare Providers By Unregulated Biological Waste Disposal

Doctors, nurses and other employees in a hospital are so busy seeing to the care of others that they forget to take care of themselves. In a hospital environment, workers are exposed to all kinds of health threats, especially when dealing with medical waste. All healthcare workers in a hospital should be aware of the risks that medical waste raises, and avoid them at any cost.

Some of the most basic ways a healthcare worker can avoid contamination when handling medical waste is to:

  • Immediately wash their hands with soap and warm water after transporting medical waste
  • Refrain from touching the mouth, eyes, nose, face or any other bare skin while handling medical waste
  • Wash hands before using the bathroom if they have recently been in contact with medical waste
  • Remove protective clothes and wash hands before eating

Hospital employers should be providing protective clothing and gear to health workers who are handling medical waste. Hand washing areas must also be readily available and in good working order at all times. Some of the necessary equipment that may be worn by hospital workers transporting medical waste include:

  • Safety goggles
  • A face shield or mask
  • Coveralls
  • Plastic aprons
  • Protective gloves
  • Rubber boots

Additionally, biological waste disposal in hospitals necessitates continuous training of all personnel who comes into contact with it. Employees should know how to identify and separate biological waste at the source, segregate it into the correct container, and safely transport it when the container reaches capacity. Those who work with the transport and storage of biological waste will also need to know proper labeling and moving procedures as well as how to react in the event of a spillage.

Proper handling of biological waste in hospitals and following mandated work procedures helps to reduce the risk of an employee being infected with a bloodborne pathogen. This is the main concern of OSHA, one of the many government bodies overseeing biological waste for hospitals. They study the practices in place from the perspective of the employee, looking to eliminate any possibility of a hospital becoming ill as a result of their handling of biological waste in the workplace.

In order to protect hospital workers, OSHA has developed certain steps they believe to be important for the safe collection and transport of biological waste. Included in OSHA’s guidelines are the following regulations:

  • All biological waste has a final disposal area, separate inside a hospital
  • The use of puncture proof containers for sharps disposal
  • All biological waste be clearly marked
  • The outside of containers holding medical waste not be contaminated
  • Procedures are in place that ensure that containers holding biological waste can be transported without risk of contamination

Healthcare workers in a hospital are urged to follow all of these guidelines in order to maintain their own physical health and well-being. This is crucial in order for them to be able to continue providing quality care to the patients who need it.

Biological Waste Disposal for Laboratories

Biological Waste Disposal for Laboratories

Choosing a Biological Waste Disposal Company that Fits in With What Your Laboratory Needs

Independently run medical laboratories have the responsibility of managing their own biological waste disposal needs. Even for a small laboratory, this should include partnering with a biological waste disposal service provider who at the very least will remove biological waste from the premises for you. Yet, if you find the right company to work with, you can feel confident that your medical laboratory is always in full compliance with the local, state and federal laws.

These Tips Will Help You Choose a Company That Not Only Will Keep You Compliant, But Will Provide You With a High Quality Service that Turns Biological Waste Disposal Management Into a Breeze:

  • Don’t dismiss the smaller biological waste disposal company in favor of a big name. A smaller laboratory will benefit from the personalized service that a small disposal company is able to provide. They have the time and resources it takes to help streamline your laboratory methods of practice so that biological waste disposal is efficient and cost effective.
  • Stick with a local biological waste disposal company. The feds, state and even local governments all have a say in medical waste disposal. The closer your company is to your site, the better understanding they will have of the regulations that govern it.
  • Look for a full service medical waste disposal company. These will help you from the generation of medical waste in the laboratory right up until its incineration. You want a company that helps you identify where to put sharps containers and red bag receptacles, that will help educate your employees on the safe transportation, and of course will remove the medical waste from your laboratory on a set schedule.
  • Ask about the paperwork provided to your laboratory. A reputable biological waste disposal company will have signed off paperwork at the point of pick-up that is verified by an employee of yours. In addition, you should be given detailed manifests of pick-ups of medical waste from your laboratory. If audited by a government agency such as the FDA or OSHA, you will have to show this paperwork as proof of your compliance.
  • Check the level of customer service provided by the waste removal company. Call them and see how long it takes to get to a representative. Do they help with on-going training of your employees? Will they assist you in picking out the right sized sharps containers and red bags? Biological waste disposal for laboratories can get complicated, and you really want to work with a professional company that is fully committed to excellent customer service standards.
  • Lastly ensure that they are fully licensed to dispose of biological waste generated by a laboratory. Waste management companies are also held to high standards and must be approved vendors by the state in order to operate.

Biological waste disposal is not just about avoiding fines, it is about protecting the health of your employees and the public. Keep that in mind always, and choose a company that is equally committed to the safe disposal of medical waste.