All posts by hwmuser

Countdown to Earth Day: Shred, Recycle, Save Trees!

According to a study done by the University of Southern Indiana, each ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This year, at Healthcare Waste Management, we are counting down to Earth Day again, by taking a look at recycling paper products, and how our secure paper shredding services contribute to that.

When you have document destruction services, you are protecting important and invaluable assets and information. Every day, confidential documents are dropped into our secure, locked consoles, in offices, medical facilities, and businesses throughout our service area. On a scheduled basis, our drivers go into said facilities to empty these consoles and transport them for secure destruction, guaranteeing 100% confidentiality. Upon destruction, our customers receive notice of the destruction date, and further guarantee of their safety and security.

The process doesn’t end there. Once these documents are shredded using a “pierce and tear” method, ensuring no two pieces of paper are exactly the same, the shredded paper is securely transported to a paper mill for recycling. From the destroyed pieces of paper, a pulp is made, and the paper is further separated for recycling. The ink is removed, as well as other imperfections, during a screening process. Finally, the paper pulp is ready to be manufactured into new paper products.

Our large locked consoles hold about 100 pounds of paper. If this console is picked up on a weekly basis, that’s about 5,200 pounds of paper per year, or about 40 trees saved. Not only is secure document destruction the safest and most secure way to get rid of private documents,  it’s a way to do something good for our planet. To learn more about our shredding services, contact a HWM representative today! 

Protecting What Matters: The Benefits of “Pierce-and-Tear” Shredding

If you’re a business owner, medical or healthcare professional, or work at a similar facility, you know by now the importance of having secure document destruction services. By securely shredding your documents, you give your patients, customers, employees, and other staff that peace of mind that their important personal information is secure. Once you determine the necessity of this service, you can then determine a secure shredding vendor, and what kind of services they offer.

“Pierce-and-Tear” shredding is a method that first pierces the paper and then tears it apart using rotating blades. The end result is one in which no two pieces of paper are exactly the same. This is a much safer method in comparison to the traditional stripe method, where documents are shredded into clean horizontal or vertical strips. By using the method, total security can be guaranteed, as the pieces are much smaller and indistinguishable.

By using the pierce-and-tear method of shredding, Healthcare Waste Management and ShredPro can guarantee security from start to finish. By having a secure service for document shredding, you can have total peace of mind that you are protecting yourself and your facility. You also protect your reputation, keep costs down, and reduce waste in an environmentally friendly way by using secure document destruction services. Contact a Healthcare Waste Management representative today to learn more about our 100% safe and secure document destruction services. Protect what matters!

5 Workplace Habits to Avoid a Data Security Breach

According to the 2016 Breach Level Index, almost half a billion records were breached last year, and almost 1.4 billion data records compromised. With sensitive information going back and forth between parties constantly, it has become more important than ever to practice good workplace habits for keeping secure documentation safe and secure.

  1. Use designated “shredding” and “recycling” bins at your desk instead of waste baskets. This workplace habit protects you and the environment! Make sure that you are taking care of private and confidential papers first, but then have a designated bin for recycling as well! This will ensure that nothing confidential gets thrown away in the regular trash.
  2. Keep printers on a secure network. According to studies done, security breaches can often times be traced back to wireless printers on an unsecure network. Try saving paper by printing only what you need, but also make sure wireless printers are just as password protected as everything else.
  3. Get rid of old devices that are no longer in use. While you may be done with old computers and cell phones, they can still put you at a potential threat of data security breach. Confidential and important company and personal information may still remain on old hard drives that a hacker would be able to access. Once you have all necessary files from old devices, get rid of them safely and securely.
  4. Keep a tidy work space. This may seem like an obvious one, but don’t leave confidential information out on your desk for anyone to see. You never know who may be passing through your work area that could easily get enough information to steal your identity, or cause even greater damage. When the paper starts piling up, make sure you sort it, keep what you need, and safely dispose of what you don’t.
  5. Have a secure shredding service set up by a licensed company. Once you have filled your secure shredding bins with confidential documentation, you’ll need a company to come pick up and dispose of it safely and securely. Healthcare Waste Management provides a service that is both safe and affordable. Our drivers and staff are expertly trained so that you and your office can have peace of mind, knowing your information and the information of your clients and customers has been destroyed properly.

To learn more about how Healthcare Waste Management can help you reduce waste, risk, and cost, contact us for a quote today! 

The Importance of Compliance and Safety Training

As a business owner, the most valuable assets you have are your employees. Without your staff, your business, practice, hospital, or clinic would come to a screeching halt. By taking the time to properly train these valued individuals, you are not only protecting them but you are safe-guarding your business as well.

We are of the minds who say that you can never do enough to make sure that your facility is kept safe and you are taking the necessary precautions to prevent risk. One of the best ways to do this is by educating your workplace in the areas of compliance, safety, and risk management. By investing in safety training, you prevent an incalculable amount of workplace incidents, some that could be detrimental and often permanent.

Who does this impact? Everyone. Compliance and safety training is beneficial to everyone and it protects everyone. At any given medical facility, there are large numbers of people filtering in and out from staff to patients to family members, and by properly training your staff you can prevent senseless incidents.

At Healthcare Waste Management, we are passionate about helping you reduce waste, risk, and cost, and one of the services we provide is online compliance and safety training as well as OSHA walk-throughs. Our mission is to educate our customers on how to best handle medical waste so as to prevent the potential spread of disease, but also to help implement best practices for managing risks and promoting safety in the workplace. For more information on these and other services, contact a HWM representative today. 

4 Reasons You Need Secure Document Destruction

Thinking about getting secure document destruction services?

In the age of information, sensitive documents are becoming more and more at risk of being in the wrong hands. There are several reasons why businesses, medical offices, and health organizations should have secure document destruction, but let’s focus on these:

  1. Legality – keeping patient, client, and customer information safe is the law. It has become a necessity to have a “safe shredding” method in place in order to stay in compliance with laws put in place to protect people and their identities. If your business or organization has taken the necessary precautions to avoid breaking these laws, you are much less likely to avoid legal trouble involving customer or patient data.
  2. Sustainability – securely shredding your sensitive documents is better for the environment. In addition to being illegal, throwing away these documents creates a negative environmental impact. With document destruction services you can know that your paper materials will be recycled in an eco-friendly manner.
  3. Reliability – safely disposing of documents is the safest way to ensure that you are protecting your clients, patients, and customers. When you work with a company to securely shred documentation, you can have peace of mind that you’re protecting yourself and others from potential theft.
  4. Monetary – making sure personal information is securely disposed of can save you from potential fines and fees. A shredding service can save you money but also time. Services that shred documents provide industrial-sized shredders that can safely destroy everything in minutes instead of the time it would take employees or volunteers to do the same.

When you have secure document destruction in place, you are protecting yourself, others, and the environment. Using a secure shredding service can also protect you from legal and financial problems that can arise. To learn more about how secure document destruction can save you time and money, contact us today!

Medical Waste Disposal

Medical waste, when improperly treated and disposed of, is potentially harmful to others and to the environment.

Medical waste is generated in a number of ways but usually as a result of the treatment, immunization, or care of humans or animals. Due to treatment, waste is generated, and that waste could be potentially dangerous or infectious. The Center for Disease Control , The World Health Organization, and the US Environmental Protection all state that the following are to be considered infectious waste: blood and blood products, laboratory cultures, needles, scalpels, and any waste generated from patients in isolation. The World Health Organization suggests that while 75-90% of medical waste from healthcare facilities may not be infectious, the remaining 10-25% could be very dangerous for the environment and in the case of human contact. Disposal of these and other wastes is a safety and environmental concern.

Proper disposal of these types of waste is a safety concern but also an environmental concern. Medical Waste found in the ocean or washed up on beaches, for instance, may contain strains of bacteria or viruses and often forces beaches to close due to risk. One of the most common incidents is having syringes or needles wash up on shores, which can be contaminated or infected with hepatitis or other blood-borne pathogens and diseases.

There is a general consensus among professional health care organizations, regulators, and the waste management professionals that proper management starts with identifying waste and handling it properly. When waste is correctly identified, it can then be properly segregated so that any waste needing special treatment can be handled. When all necessary steps are taken in the disposal and treatment of medical waste, it greatly reduces the risk to others, the negative effect on the environment, and the potential for fines and cost-accruing incidents.

At Healthcare Waste Management, we take the guess work out of proper disposal and handling of your medical waste. Our passion is to help you reduce waste, risk, and costs! Call us for a quote, we’ll have it ready in minutes. 

Take Action for Earth Day: Plant a Tree

The first Earth Day was nearly five decades ago in 1970, founded by a young man in his 20’s with a vision for bringing a voice and awareness to the importance of protecting and preserving the environment. Denis Hayes helped launch a movement that spurred the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passing of several laws erected to protect environmental policy to this day.

the canopy project girl with tree earth day
Source: The Canopy Project

This year, Healthcare Waste Management has decided to take action as we countdown to Earth Day 2017 by contributing The Canopy Project. The Canopy Project, alongside the Earth Day Network, works with organizations around the world that strengthen communities by planting trees. “Using sapling and seed distribution, urban forestry, agroforestry, and tree care training, we have empowered rural and urban people alike to conserve, repair, and restore tree cover to their lands,” (The Canopy Project).

There are several reasons why planting trees are the perfect way to celebrate Earth Day. Trees improve the air quality as they produce oxygen. They also store carbon, offsetting harmful byproducts of fossil-fuel burning. They moderate the effects of sun and wind, as well as cleaning the air by trapping dust, pollen and other pollutants. Studies show that they increase property value, help people relax, and reduce stress levels overall. They also contribute to the recycling of raw materials, helping to generate jobs and the use and reuse of raw materials.

Between now and Earth Day (April 22, 2017), Healthcare Waste Management will plant five trees for every new customer, or new service added to our existing customers. In doing so, we hope to show our commitment to protecting and preserving the world we live in. Planting trees is one of the easiest ways you can take care of your community and contribute to a cleaner, healthier environment. You can learn more by checking out The Canopy Project, and helping them reach their goal of $150,000 in planted trees this year.

 

 

 

Countdown to Earth Day: Buy Local

Join us as we countdown to Earth Day, take action, buy local!

Did you know that produce starts losing its nutrients as soon as it is harvested? If you’re buying produce from a grocery store chain it is very likely that by the time you buy, it has already lost almost half of its original nutrients. Also taking into consideration that the average shelf life of most produce is about seven days, those “fresh” fruits and vegetables aren’t as fresh as you might have thought. There is a sense of peace knowing where your food is coming from, especially when that food is feeding your loved ones. So, buying local is the definitely the healthiest option out there but that’s not the only reason to commit to do so.

Buying local is a great way to support a clean environment and a strong economy. By doing this, you are supporting a family farm, not earth day buy localbig business. A well-managed indigenous farm values natural resources, clean water, and fertile soil. Additionally, locally
owned farms and businesses have less of an environmental impact overall, as they reuse their resources in an effort to keep costs and environmental effects low.

At Healthcare Waste Management, it is our mission to help you reduce waste, risk, and cost when it comes to your medical waste. When you buy local, you’re doing the same thing for your community, farmers and business owners. When you are invested in the community you live in, you will likely take notice of other things that matter including local jobs. Consumers who make a commitment to buying local can help create and sustain jobs all while contributing to a stronger community, cleaner environment, and healthier eating.

Join us as we countdown to Earth Day 2017, and commit to buy local!

Handling Containers

A huge part of the medical waste disposal industry is the handling, transportation, and use of medical waste containers.  From sharps that have been exposed to pathogens such as HIV or HBV, to bio hazardous materials, containers will hold a variety of different wastes holding risks that can be limited with proper handling.  Healthcare Waste Management takes pride and is confident in our puncture-resistant, anti-microbial infused, reusable sharps containers as well as our other forms of containment, but we also need your help to ensure safe and proper medical waste disposal.  Here are a few tips to think about while handling the containers in your facility.

RPC_Containers_lores

Keep waste containers sealed when not being used, or when full.  Open containers mean open exposure and greater risk for the spread of potentially infectious disease.  Healthcare Waste Management can properly dispose of and eliminate these risks, but only after we’ve picked them up.

Label containers.  Container labels are important for proper treatment and disposal of medical waste.  Mixing wastes and containers that shouldn’t be together increases risk of improper disposal and the spread of infectious disease.

Don’t overfill containers.  Overfilling containers increases risk of spillage and spread of potentially infectious diseases, as well as exposure to infected sharps.  If needed, give us a call and we will be happy to supply for your facility’s needs.

Don’t move containers yourself.  Healthcare Waste Management has trained employees who know the proper way to handle and dispose of medical waste.  Do not take the risk of handling yourself!

 

Best Practices in the Medical Waste Disposal Industry

If your healthcare practice has medical waste, the law says it’s up to you to figure out how to best dispose of it.  Making sure to exercise proper disposal is a choice that reflects positively on the environment as well as the integrity of your company.  Follow these best practices to safely and efficiently dispose of your medical waste.

  1. Determine what type of waste your facility is producing.

Is the waste at your facility infectious or non-infectious?  Infectious waste is often classified as waste contaminated by things like blood, body fluids, or other potentially harmful materials that can infect and harm humans or the environment. Unlike infectious waste, non-infectious waste can be disposed of with solid waste.  Do you have pathological or pharmaceutical waste?  Pathological waste includes things like carcasses, tissues, and body parts.  Pharmaceutical waste includes unused medications and contaminated packaging.  Knowing what you’re dealing with is the first step to proper disposal.

  1. Separate different types of waste. Know which kinds can be disposed of together, and which need isolated treatment.

Not all waste can be disposed of the same way.  For example, sharps require placement in special containers that will inhibit needle sticks.  Also, some types of waste, like trace chemotherapy and pathological, require special permitting.  In dealing with these biohazardous wastes, other factors such as labeling and time-frame of required disposal also come into play.

  1. Know the Laws: EPA, DOT, DEA, OSHA.

There are many regulatory bodies that have a say in the medical waste disposal process—the EPA, DOT, DEA, OSHA.  It is important to be familiar with all of them.  From time of pick-up, to transportation, to storage and ultimate disposal, these agencies each have strict guidelines to keep the process as safe and eco-friendly as possible.

  1. Choose a qualified provider.

Choosing the right provider will make your facility’s entire medical waste disposal process smooth and easy and Healthcare Waste Management provides all the right options.  From our compliance and safety training, to our reusable sharps containers, to our EPA, IDEM and DOT pickup, transport, and disposal licensing, we can make your medical waste disposal as simple and hassle-free as possible.

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