If you operate a medical facility or practice of any size, you probably already have a pretty solid understanding of the importance of training your nurses and care providers on medical waste disposal, but what about your administrative and office staff?
These individuals often don’t receive much, if any, training on medical waste management, and that can create potential problems for their employer.
Administrative staff members, including office managers, can be critical players in the proper handling of waste, and they should always receive at least some training in these areas.
Below are four specific reasons you should be training administrative team members on proper waste handling in your medical practice:
One of the most crucial focus areas of a thorough medical waste management program should include proper labeling. How containers and waste are labeled will impact how they’re disposed of, and even a small labeling error can result in issues ranging from fines to potential safety risks for other employees and patients.
Labeling is so important, and it often falls on the shoulders of a practice’s administrative staff, which is just one of the many reasons they should receive waste disposal training that’s on-par with what other employees go through.
- Management of Mailback Services
Many medical practices that need only to dispose of small amounts of waste, or those organizations that are looking for budget-friendly options, will participate in medical waste mail-back programs. This means that small quantities of items such as sharps, mercury or soft medical waste might be repackaged and mailed to a disposal facility, rather than being picked up.
These mail-back programs may be led by office managers and front office employees, so they should receive in-depth training on proper handling of the waste, and how to mail it back so that it meets the US Postal Service guidelines.
- Central Point of Information
The administrative staff of a medical practice often serves as the nerve center or the central control area of the organization. With that in mind, when you provide training to these employees on medical waste practices and procedures, it can become easier to streamline the management of medical waste, and make sure everyone is aware of all standards.
The administrative staff can also become a point of information for other employees, and they may be able to serve as trainers of future employees.
- Working with the Disposal Company
The administrative staff of your medical organization is much like the “face” of the practice, and they are also the front line employees that are going to interact most often and coordinate with your medical waste disposal company. They need to know how to best work with this company, how to handle loading and unloading of waste, and how to make sure pickups are well-managed.
All of this can come from comprehensive training.
Reduce Liability and Potential Problems Through Adequate Training
From HIPPA requirements to specific requirements for labeling of hazardous medical waste, if you want your medical practice to remain compliant, safe and ahead of any and all state standards, ensure that you’re not only training care providers, but also the important people who make up your administrative team. You can avoid accidents, hazardous situations, and fines that stem from improper handling of medical waste.