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Future Ways to Deal With Medical Waste
The process of disposing of medical waste has historically been a challenge for hospitals, clinics and physician’s offices. Although every precaution is taken within an office to house and contain the various types of wastes, their mere presence could be a hazard. When you incorporate the requirement of the service required to access and haul off the waste for incineration disposal, it encompasses procedures that are simply old-school. There are future methods that are in the works that will use new technologies and eliminate each of these areas of concern.
Imagine, if you will, a single, sealed and enclosed container that will house all of the regulated medical waste types. Staff places any of the medical waste within the container without fear of exposure of contamination. Using a single touchscreen, an administrator or employee can institute a multiple step process that destroys all contaminants and reduces the resulting waste to a non-harmful content that can be included with the standard trash.
The old-school ‘haul and burn’ has long been in need of an overhaul. The newer technologies will use a steam-based sterilization process for all of the waste in the sealed containment areas and then grind the waste into a confetti-like material which is then safe for disposal. All of this is accomplished on-site and it’s anticipated that it will reduce the volume of waste by eighty percent.
It’s important to note that this disposal will not only take care of softer materials involved in patient/medical facilities, but can also resolve disposal of harder materials such as sharp objects (needles, etc.) This is a high priority, especially when working in a clinic environment that may work with patients that have serious communicable and infectious diseases.
The size of the unit is around the same as a standard office photocopier. The amount of time that the entire sterilization and grinding will take is nearing sixty minutes. However, as all medical offices are aware of, disposal is just one part of the entire medical waste landscape. Detailed record keeping is a requirement and the future devices will address that topic as well. They will incorporate a complete record-keeping area that can be accessed via office or tablet/smartphone app and secure login/password access with wireless capacity.
The device can be used in a variety of environments including: hospital surgery centers, clinics, nursing homes, dialysis centers, dermatology, urgent care, correctional facilities, veterinarians, oral surgeons and even the military. For military, it offers the ability to change current government requirements to freeze medical waste and send it back to U.S. facilities.
One can say that the time has come to address the subject of medical waste disposal in a more efficient and technologically safe way.
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