One of the most significant challenges for any healthcare administrator is creating a plan for dealing with the waste that’s generated in their facility. This task is crucial in nursing homes and assisted living communities because patients live in the same place they receive their care. Fortunately, there are several tips for handling the load. Here are some helpful tips for how to reduce waste in nursing homes.
The most obvious waste any administrator needs to worry about is medical. Many types of medical waste exist, each requiring a unique solution to address correctly. Safe disposal of medical waste is vital for several reasons, including reducing the risk of exposure to the residents. Simple steps like adding trash bins specifically for needles and creating stations to clean bodily fluids can result in a safer living and working environment for all residents, visitors, and staff members. It’s crucial to train staff members on the proper procedures for safely disposing of each type of medical waste.
Because people are living there as well, solid waste is also a problem that administrators must address. Any plan to manage solid waste must account for the trash produced by residents and staff to prevent the facility from swimming in garbage. This often requires multiple trash pickups each week to deal with the quantity. Things like food, packaging, and certain medical supplies are all likely to end up in a trash bin, spreading germs. Easy methods for ending this threat include anti-microbial trash cans and frequent sanitizing procedures.
When looking at how to reduce waste in nursing homes, staff must consider how to increase the facility’s sustainability. The option to recycle is significant to some residents and could mean the difference between staying or leaving. Another way to improve sustainability is with reusable items in the facility. A great place to start converting to sustainable products is in the cafeteria, where targeted replacements like swapping metal flatware for disposable utensils will cut down on waste while improving the nursing home’s bottom line.