What Would a Medical Waste Disposal Inspection Look Like In Your Veterinary Clinic?
Veterinarians are held to the same stringent guidelines as all other medical assistance facilities, including the disposal of your waste products. Waste that is generated from the direct care and treatment of your animal patients cannot be treated like typical garbage. Instead, you must follow regulations set forth by OSHA, the FDA and the California State Government.
To ensure that the requirements are being met on-site, regulatory boards will conduct facility inspections. During these visits, they will observe the practices inside of your veterinarian office, follow the path of your medical waste, and check to see that all transport devices are in compliance with current regulations.
What to Expect During a Medical Waste Disposal Inspection
If you are subject to an inspection, the agents who come inside of your veterinary facility will look at:
- Your permit that states you have registered as a facility which generates medical waste.
- Those areas where medical waste is generated, such as the animal treatment rooms, surgery areas and containment.
- How medical and hazardous waste is being handled inside your veterinarian office.
- The storage containers being used.
- The ways in which medical waste is being transported inside of your facility.
- Your documentation for employee education on the disposal of medical and hazardous waste.
- Your documentation showing the proper disposal of medical waste using a company that has been licensed by the state.
These inspections should not be disruptive to your veterinarian office day to day activities, barring that all of your systems are in place and documented. Veterinarians who are consistent in following the standards typically will have no trouble in passing the rigid inspection.
Disposal Documentation Required
Having your disposal documentation in a readily available file at all times will be useful in making sure that any on-site inspection is terminated quickly. Your medical waste disposal provider should be leaving you with paperwork and manifests describing the extent of the medical waste generated, where it was transported to, and in what manner was it disposed of.
What Might Get You Into Trouble During a Medical Waste Disposal Inspection
Not having the necessary documentation is one of the leading problems during these types of inspections. Not because they were not provided to the veterinarian, but because they were disposed of too early. Keep your manifests in the office for at least two years in case your office is ever put under scrutiny for medical waste disposal practices.
The second concern is having the right containers for the medical waste generated by your facility. Red bags used for biological materials need to be clearly labeled and made of a material that does not puncture or tear easily. Plastic transport boxes should also be easily accessible for the safe placement of needles and other sharps.
If you are working with a trusted medical waste disposal service provider, you will breeze through any inspection. So long as you and your employees are consistent in your practices with medical waste and its disposal, proving this to the inspectors will not pose a problem to your veterinarian office.