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WHAT’S IN YOUR RED BAG?

Many people have seen the red bag for medical waste or the red bag containers in their doctor’s office as they sit and wait for the doctor to come into the room. Some patients may even be guilty of spitting their gum into the red container labeled “biohazard”. While tossing in a piece of gum or a used tissue may not seem like a big deal, it can make a difference in the bottom line of the facility if every patient tossed in something similar each day.

Here are a few tips for helping employees and patients learn more about what goes into the red bags and red bag containers and how it could save your facility money.

WHAT IS RED BAG MEDICAL WASTE?
As mentioned above, red bags and red biomedical waste disposal containers can be found in almost every doctor’s office, hospital room, dental office, vet clinic, and more. This is due to the fact that not everything can be tossed into a regular trash bag headed for the local landfill. When it comes to regulated medical waste, there are several steps that have to be taken before the waste is suitable for the landfill.

It all begins by placing red bag waste into the proper red bag containers. Red bag waste is any type of waste that is considered to be potentially infectious. Examples of biohazardous waste include:

- contaminated sharps (needles, syringes, scalpels)
- gloves covered in blood
- gowns covered in blood
- blood-soaked bandages

HOW TO REDUCE WHAT GOES INTO RED BAGS AND OTHER BIO WASTE CONTAINERS
There is no doubt that medical facilities create a lot of red bag waste. However, with so many rules and regulations surrounding medical waste and what can and cannot be thrown into a regular trash container, things can be confusing and stressful. There are a few things that can be done to reduce the confusion and reduce your red bag medical waste.

TRAINING
Employees come from different backgrounds. Some have worked in fields where there is regulated medical waste while others have never had to separate what is tossed in the trash can. And even if employees do have a history of working in the medical field, it doesn’t guarantee that the employees were trained properly. They may have been told to toss everything in the red bags and red containers.

This is why it is so important to train ALL of your staff on what is expected in your facility. You can call once a month training or hold informal trainings in small groups. A quick 10-15 minute session can make a huge difference in your medical waste management. At ManageMed, we offer online OSHA compliance training to help your employees learn about workplace safety which also helps with your overall medical waste management.

SIGNS
Those who don’t work in the medical field or in an office where there is red bag waste may not understand why their doctor’s office has three different trash containers in the examination room. Even when containers are a different color or labeled, patients still seem to put regular trash items where they don’t belong.

One thing that could help employees and patients is placing a sign above red waste containers. Signs should use both words and other visuals to help get the message across. You can find signs and posters online, talk to your medical waste disposal company, or create one yourself. This will greatly reduce the amount of waste that doesn’t belong in the red bags.

AUDIT RED BIOHAZARD BAGS AND OTHER WASTE DISPOSAL CONTAINERS
If you don’t see a change in the amount of medical waste your facility is disposing of, then the next step would be to perform an audit of the red biohazard bags and containers. Look to see if there are items that shouldn’t be in there like an employee’s soda can or leftover lunch. Then talk with your employees to see why these items are ending up in the red bag waste containers. You may discover that the employee was never trained or that there were no other trash bins available.

LET MANAGEMED SAVE YOU MONEY
Not only can an experienced medical waste disposal company like ManageMed help relieve some of the stress involved with handling regulated medical waste, but we can save you money. When you combine our already affordable services with our OSHA compliant training, your employees will have the skills they need to create a safer work environment. This helps to reduce your overall biomedical waste and keep your facility compliant.

We offer flexible service throughout the United States. Whether you need biomedical waste disposal in North Carolina or biomedical waste disposal in California, ManageMed is here to help. Give us a call today at 844-383-8933 to get started. 


3 TIPS ON MANAGING RED BAG MEDICAL WASTE

The little red medical waste disposal bags and red plastic containers located in the exam rooms of the family doctor, vet clinic, or dentist office are NOT for decoration. Although they may add a pop of color to the sterile environment, these red bags are specifically designed to hold biomedical waste and to help during identification and the disposal process. The red coloring also helps bring attention to those working in the facilities and easily lets them know that the bags and containers are “special” and should be treated with “special” attention.

Why such a big fuss over a little red bag? Here are three tips to help you manage your red bag, biomedical waste.

SEPARATE YOUR MEDICAL WASTE TO SAVE MONEY AND YOUR BUSINESS
When it comes to disposing of medical waste, simply tossing it with your other trash is a big “NO, NO.” Not only is it the law, but there are hefty fines enforced for being non-compliant. Fines for improper medical waste disposal often seem to pop up from nowhere and can be due to the smallest infraction. In fact, not separating your medical waste properly is one of the most common infractions and carries a steep fine.

Only biohazardous waste should be placed in red bags or red containers. Biohazardous waste is medical waste that is in a solid or liquid state and is contaminated with blood or other infectious material. Move red medical waste containers and bags away from regular trash bins. This will lessen the chance of medical waste being thrown in the regular trash can and vice versa. Not only can it save you from getting a high priced fine, but it can also cut down on the amount of non-medical waste going in the red bags and bins and ultimately save you money.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT MEDICAL WASTE CONTAINER FROM THE BEGINNING
When it comes to medical waste, there isn’t a “one size fits all” container. In fact, there are several things to consider and implement when deciding on medical waste containers.

1. Containers should be DOT-approved.

2. Containers should be the correct size for the waste.

3. Containers should be the correct material for the type of waste.

At ManageMed, we provide biomedical waste bags and biomedical waste boxes. We can also help you manage your medical waste stream and help you learn more about what type of waste goes into which type of container.

DON’T FORGET ABOUT SHARPS
Although sharps are small, they can cause a lot of damage if not disposed of properly. They can also rack up fines if anyone, including employees, gets stuck. Used sharps should be placed in a container that cannot easily be punctured and preferably one created specifically for sharps such as regulated plastic containers. It is also a good idea to empty or change out your container before it gets too full. Allowing the sharps bin to get full increases the chances of employees getting stuck. Sharps should also be closed or locked in a sharps container before they are placed in a red bag.

At ManageMed, we understand that it can be overwhelming to manage your medical waste. We offer OSHA training online to help keep your employees up-to-date on the proper way to handle sharps containers and sharps safety.

LET MANAGEMED HELP CREATE A MEDICAL WASTE DISPOSAL PLAN FOR YOU
Dealing with the disposal of sharps and biomedical waste is a part of many businesses and practices who deal such products. However, it doesn’t have to take over your business. With over 20 years of industry experience, ManageMed is able to work with clients from coast to coast. We understand the different laws, rules, and regulations governing biomedical waste and can help you put together a DOH Approved Biomedical Waste Plan that is customized for your facility.

Contact us today and start saving your practice time and money with ManageMed biomedical waste disposal services.