Medical Waste Solutions for Senior Living Facilities
Long-term care facilities, and in particular senior living facilities, care for and provide medical services to residents over an extended period. Though this type of care may not be the same as that of a dedicated medical facility such as a hospital, it can produce much of the same medical waste. As the population of Canada continues to age, with the senior population growing at six times the rate of children, demand for care facilities will continue to expand.
The biggest medical waste concern for senior living facilities typically is biohazardous waste. This includes personal protective equipment, gauze, and gowns contaminated with bodily fluids. Care teams must also deal with the disposal of sharps, including needles used to deliver medication. In addition, they must regularly discard pharmaceutical waste and in some cases, chemotherapy waste, each of which requires careful separation, storage, and disposal through a medical waste disposal service such as Daniels Health.
Canada’s senior living facilities face many challenges when it comes to the disposal of medical waste. This is in part due to the unique situation they face, handling residents both living and receiving treatment in the same facility, creating additional hazards. However, there are several ways Canada’s senior care facilities can ensure patient safety and improve their medical waste programs.
TOPICS WE WILL COVER:
How Can I Improve Medical Waste Efficiency at My Senior Living Facility?
Senior care facilities are busy enough caring for their residents without worrying about medical waste. However, many find handling disposal a full-time job. Your workers, like those at many medical facilities, may use valuable working hours disposing of medical waste on a near daily basis, when with a better waste disposal system, they could be spending this time on resident care.
Traditional solutions to biomedical waste disposal relied on a combination of bags and solid containers, which are cumbersome, time-consuming, and pose a high risk of punctures and leaks. In addition, your employees must assemble these waste containers upon arrival and, once full, individually collect, store, and prepare them for transport, thus wasting labour and space.
Daniels can help with this. Our bagless, space-saving, reusable containers are designed to be tamper and leakproof. Your facility can place these universal wall mount systems as close as possible to waste-generating areas, and, once full, your employees can easily remove them and mount them on single or bulk carts for movement.
Daniels containers are leak and puncture resistant and meet the standards for United Nations PG2 specifications for the Transport of Dangerous Goods. This means you do not need to use any additional packaging in order to prepare these containers for transport, saving both time and money.
You also will not need to worry about finding different vendors to handle each waste steam. Daniels is ready and able to handle all medical waste streams with the second-largest infrastructure for healthcare waste collection in North America.
How Can I Improve The Sustainability Efforts With Our Senior Living Facility’s Biomedical Waste?
Sustainability goes hand in hand with reusability. The simplest way to kickstart sustainability programs is to decrease the amount of single-use and disposable items in the workflow. Choosing products and tools with eco-friendly, minimal or plastic-free packaging is a great start. But you should also look into what usually disposed of items can be swapped with sustainable, reusable alternatives. Every opportunity to prevent something from entering the waste flow and ending up in a landfill represents a win for sustainability.
One of the best ways Daniels Health can strengthen your sustainability efforts is by switching your current sharps disposal system to Sharpsmart. Sharpsmart is an intelligently-designed reusable container system which stacks sharps in a more efficient way. This means less filled containers and less time wasted. Your facility can help divert a significant quantity of waste out of the trash stream by filling these containers and then using them again after they are collected and sanitised.
The same applies to pharmaceutical waste, which senior living facilities will often generate as part of providing long-term care for residents. For example, the Daniels Pharmasmart system provides a secure, tamper-proof design and is reusable, giving you a sustainable method for disposing of expired or unused pharmaceuticals.
How Can We Improve Medical Waste Safety for Senior Living and Long-Term Care Facility Workers?
Your workers must regularly interact with biomedical waste containers, and your traditional disposal solutions are likely not able to provide the highest level of safety. Injuries cost time and money, so the risk should be reduced at every possible point for safety.
Again, Sharpsmart is a great tool for achieving this goal. Each container can reduce both injuries and costs. In fact, Sharpsmart is designed to profoundly reduce the risk of needlestick injuries, protecting staff and increasing safety. These containers are innovative in part due to their transportability, allowing containers to be safely moved to the point of patient care. Doing this allows for immediate sharps disposal, decreasing risk to all care providers and seniors at the site.
Medical facilities may also securely store chemotherapy, biohazardous, and pharmaceutical waste to prevent potential leaks during storage and transport. Daniels provides safe and secure containment and seamless service for all types of medical waste.
How Can I Ensure Resident Safety When It Comes to Medical Waste?
Your facility faces unique challenges when compared with hospitals and many other healthcare facilities where patients generally come and go in only a few days. Senior living facilities care for elderly residents who may suffer from dementia and other cognitive issues. This can add a considerable amount of danger when it comes to storing sharps and other medical waste, making it even more crucial to ensure the safe storage of medical waste.
This is another way in which Daniels can help with secure containers, including the Sharpsmart, which is built with maximum strength hardened plastic that is impenetrable to contained sharps and tamper-proof locking mechanisms preventing access to contents. In addition, a flexible service plan can help to address each waste stream regularly to minimise the amount of medical wastes on-site and their associated risks.
Daniels Helps Streamline Waste Collection and Disposal
Senior living facilities face several unique challenges in storing and disposing of medical waste while ensuring the safety of staff and residents alike. Canadian senior living facilities must provide care and medical services for their long-term residents while handling the significant quantity of medical waste this generates in a secure and efficient manner. As senior populations continue to increase, Daniels is ready to help you return your focus to helping your residents by simplifying storage and ensuring an efficient and trouble-free disposal process. Contact Daniels today to see what we can do for you.