Medical waste compliance in Warren County is an important part of running any company that’s involved with medical treatment. While this often brings to mind thoughts of contaminated needs, bandages, and other materials that we associate with diseases, most are not considered hazardous. In fact, most compliance is associated with the safety of employees and privacy laws. At Preferred Waste Concepts, we understand how important it is for you and your company to comply with medical waste regulations so we’ve put together a brief guide to help you understand what it means.
What is medical waste compliance?
Before we go into the three main categories of compliance, let’s first establish with it means to be compliant with medical waste. For your company to be compliant with industry standards, it means that you’re properly disposing of medical waste that is both potentially pathogenic, contains bodily fluids, is radioactive, or contains personal information. It’s crucial that your company properly disposes of these items in accordance with industry standards established by laws and government agencies.
OSHA stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It’s their responsibility to make sure that your employees are safe while at work. Any waste that has been contaminated with semi-liquid blood or other potentially infectious material (OPIM) is considered medical waste by OSHA. This means that the contamination can come from one or both contaminants. OPIM includes bodily fluids such as semen, vaginal fluids, amniotic fluid, saliva, cerebrospinal fluid, pleural fluid, any bodily fluid that is visibly contaminated with blood, and more. Any materials contaminated must be disposed of according to OSHA standards. Our team can assist your team with properly identifying and disposing of medical waste per OSHA standards.
The EPA is the US Environmental Protection Agency and it’s their job to ensure that all business practices are minimizing their impact on the environment. While medical most practices don’t have a large impact on the environment, hospitals will use incinerators to dispose of medical waste and autoclaves to sterilize equipment. The EPA will monitor the use of these machines to ensure that they’re not putting out hazardous exhaust. Furthermore, the pharmaceutical industry works with the EPA to help prevent drug diversion and distribution on the black market. Properly disposing of pharmaceutical waste includes properly tracking drugs that are taken out of the pharmacy’s inventory and considered waste. At Preferred Waste Concepts, we can help dispose of old and expired medications.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 is often referred to as HIPAA. This ensures that personal information is kept safe and private and includes treatment information, prescription information, medical diagnoses, and medical test results. Knowingly violating HIPAA laws can lead to severe consequences that will result in as many as 10 years in prison for specific violations. However, these laws are only in place for healthcare professionals so your company must take the necessary steps to prevent theft of such information. To help ensure that you’re compliant with HIPAA standards, our team can train your employees on the importance of the proper disposal of patient information. This will help to prevent any risks of a breach of information that could lead to steep fines for your company.
Get help with compliance today
Whether you’re already compliant, need help getting there, or want assistance with employee training, get help from Preferred Waste Concepts. We can help with all aspects of medical waste compliance in Warren County so that you and your company are up to industry standards and not putting you, your employees, or your patients at risk. Get started with our team today by calling 314-413-7500 or fill out our contact form. We’re here to help.