This unit discusses the relationship between governing bodies and public health. Of the public health and environment protection issues includes the proper treatment and disposal of the medical waste generated by healthcare facilitates, such as hospitals, physician offices, dental practices, blood banks, medical research facilities and laboratories. Medical waste is primarily regulated by state environmental and health departments. In addition to the state regulations, there are three federal agencies that regulate and govern medical waste issues: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
ULO1: Discuss the role of Environmental Protection Agency in providing a safe environment in healthcare facilities in the United States (CLO 1)
ULO2: Examine the quasi-governmental agencies that play vital roles in public health (CLO 1)
ULO3: Discuss the role of the three tiers of government in healthcare (CLO 1)
You are the Manager of Surgical Unit in Community Memorial Hospital in Venture, California. In California, it is prohibited to employ incineration of surgical waste. Recently, following up on the state investigation of allegations of improperly disposing of medical waste (sending blooded, untreated medical waste to a landfill (Kisken, 2017), the Environmental Protection Agency also performed an audit of the processes related to the medical waste processes and questioned your Surgical Unit employees. Many employees failed to answer questions about the waste materials, how to handle and how to correctly categorize and package them. There were instances identified of using incorrect containers, incorrect labeling, failure to keep containers closed, and failure to handle containers correctly. As a result, your facility received a citation.
After an initial investigation, you determined that there are several causes of this issue – inadequate employee training about handling, storing, and disposing of medical waste; missing or incomplete documented records; and improper waste segregation. Moreover, you found out that the facility is missing a part regarding the management of medical waste in its emergency contingency plan. There was no information about events such as accidental spills or loss of containment of biomedical materials.
Prepare a memorandum addressing the issue of improper medical waste training and process, reflecting the requirements of the appropriate regulatory agencies.
- The memorandum should have heading Memorandum and formal memo structure.
- Memoranda (N.B.! this is plural for memorandum, a Latin word) or memos sometimes come to some colleagues who are not aware of the issue, so typically a memo has a subject at the top.
- It should be direct and concise. As a rule of thumb, memoranda should be brief.