How To Reduce Waste in Hospitals

Updated on August 20, 2020
How To Reduce Waste in Hospitals

A recent report published by Markets and Markets said that medical waste management costs are expected to rise to $9 billion by 2025. Disposing of medical waste responsibly and appropriately would affect those numbers and the environment. Ensuring proper waste disposal and reducing waste in hospitals requires a combination of staff training and top-down management support. Waste will never be fully eliminated, but it can be drastically reduced by following some best practices. Here are some tips on how to reduce waste in hospitals.

Know the Law

Familiarize the hospital staff with the local laws, so they know what is regulated medical waste and what’s not. Laws vary state by state and what might be considered a biohazard in one place isn’t in the other. Regulated medical waste is anything contaminated by blood, body fluids, or other infectious material. How it must be disposed of will vary from state to state.

Have a Waste Management Plan

Developing a waste management plan will help reduce waste in a hospital. The plan should cover all aspects of the hospital and every department. It should include how to manage regulated medical waste. Share the plan with all necessary staff members and review it annually. During the yearly review, adjustments and tweaks to the plan can be made.

Add Meters to Gas Tanks

Waste comes in other forms too. Medical gasses are wasted every day in hospitals in various ways. Leaky tanks and staff members who don’t turn off the tank fully when done are prime culprits. Using mass flow meters on the tanks will regulate the amount of gas being used and at what rate. It also reads and records the amount of gas used, so how much is left in the tank is known.

Post Signage Throughout

Place signs in the hospital that describe what kind of waste that can be put into each container. Visual reminders help the staff and patients understand the waste disposal policy. They can actively participate in the program by depositing things in the right place. Some items need a different type of disposal than others and should be kept separate.