A 360 bed acute-care private hospital found their use of a 240 Litre bin posed issues with infection risk, staff injury risks, waste volumes, space and costs.
Furthermore, the facility was experiencing an increase in their clinical waste costs due to poor waste segregation, and the current system was not compliant with state guidelines, and drew negative attention due to bin size, cleanliness and aesthetics.
The Sharpsmart team evaluated the current clinical waste practices at the facility to understand user-behaviour, interview staff and understand all of the problems they were facing with the current system. After understanding current practices, the Sharpsmart team then went into a more "deep-diving" analysis of what results were being produced with the current system. Conducting a thorough audit of the quantity and placement of bins and the volume of waste being generated out of each area of the facility, Sharpsmart were able to understand what volumes of waste needed to be catered for in the introduction of a new containment solution. Furthermore, the Sharpsmart team then conducted a series of waste audits on individual containers to better understand current segregation practices and be able to produce an effective plan to achieve better waste stream segregation within the facility.
The second aspect of the investigative stage prior to new solution rollout was to understand current inhibitors with current container placement and movement. What bins/containers were required at point-of-use care? Were there traffic challenges with service elevators or door widths for carts and bin movement? Were all current bin locations aligned to achieving the safest and most efficient results? The Sharpsmart team mapped the movement of current practices and all healthcare waste volumes being generated at each location, and identified any use/location issues where compliance could be called into question.
The third step was to do a 3-month trial rollout of the unique Clinismart waste system in one area of the hospital. Seeing results on small test group, the Sharpsmart team were better able to understand unique facility practices, how accessories were being used, get real time user feedback, and compare segregation results with the new system.
Sharpsmart implemented their flagship Clismart clinical waste system throughout the entire facility. All 240 Litre bins that had previously been stored and transported from soiled utility rooms were removed from the facility and replaced with Sharpsmart's 64 Litre Clinismart container. The Clinismart was rolled out not only in central department locations, but also in patient rooms as required.
Conversion to the Clinismart system resulted in a significant decrease in clinical waste mass and volume by 53.2% and 65.2% respectively. Clinical waste disposal costs fell by 30.9%, labour costs were reduced by 69.2% and waste segregation improved throughout. The system showed an instant reduction in infection risk and sharps injury risk, was strongly preferred by users to the previous system and was found to be more space efficient and logistically superior. The Clinismart system rollout eliminated all issues previously noted with the 240 Litre bin system.
"The study found that the use of a smaller 64Litre linerless, reusable hospital wastebin system, through its design and operation, has the potential to reduce biomedical waste volumes, increase labour efficiencies, decrease costs, and minimise infection potential and sharps injury risk; all of which improve the quality of health care."