HealthCare Waste Introduction The recent calls for reforms within the healthcare sector have raised alarms in different quotas of the political divide. It’s important to ensure the reforms will incorporate changes within the health care sector especially in research and hospitals with regards to management of health care wastes. What definitive proof is available that there is excessive waste in healthcare and should addressing waste be part of healthcare reform? In the recent past there has been an increased in the number of cases regarding infectious diseases such as respiratory infections, respiratory infections, Hepatitis B&C to mention but few. These infectious diseases are transmitted through means such as inhalation and blood. Poor waste management and disposal strategies are to be blamed for the increased number of patients suffering from the mentioned conditions. Poor disposal of food remains can also be blamed on the increased number of rodents such as rats and insects (WHO,n.d). The mentioned organisms are major transmitters of diseases to human populations. The human population has been on the rise hence creating pressure on the available hospitals and health care institutions. As a result of the mentioned, hospitals waste management systems are not in position to handle the increasing volumes of waste hence compelling some institutions to dispose waste inappropriately. What category of healthcare waste has the greatest potential for impacting quality care and what should be done to minimize this impact? Health care waste can be categorized into various groups ranging from general waste which is majorly composed of kitchen wastes and packaging materials. Pathological waste is made up of hazardous materials such as tissues and fluids, infectious waste is made up of disease causing organisms of considerable quantities e.g. cultures, wastes from surgery to mention but few and radioactive wastes have the greatest impact on healthcare quality due to the ease of which they cause deadly diseases (WHO,n.d). Diseases arising from these waste products tend to be persistent hence translating to high amount of resources being spent in treating affected populations. In order to minimize the impacts arising from the improper disposal of the mentioned wastes the following should be done; Educate the medical staff on adequate procedures on how to manage hospital wastes. Applying adequate waste disposal technic that ensures that in the event the toxic waste finds their way into the surrounding environment they don’t pose any health risk. This can be attained by using methods such as incineration. Radioactive products should be left to settle after which they should be packaged in tightly sealed containers before being disposed in isolated environments such as in oceans. If you were in charge, how would you attack healthcare waste and how would you prioritize the different categories? If I was in charge of managing healthcare waste I would apply the following approach; The first initiative I would take would be to re-educate persons within the healthcare fraternity on different approaches that can be applied in managing healthcare related waste. Tis would be following with campaigns amongst different communities whereby populations are taught on dangers that surround getting into contact with waste products from hospitals. One of the reasons as to why there’s an increase in diseases is due to inefficiency of concerned authorities in implementing laws regulating operations within the healthcare sector. With regards to this, I would ensure laboratories and waste management facilities in hospitals and other health related institutions adhere to SOP in all their operations including waste management. Failure to observe the mentioned would translate to penalties or even closure of the institution. Reference WHO,(n.d). Health Impacts of Health-Care Waste.Retrieved on 21 October 2011 from
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