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Utah Hospital Saves Money and the Environment by Treating Its Own Medical Waste on Site
Date:10/28/2013

e for disposal in the community landfill. This volume reduction also significantly reduces the hospital's solid waste landfill footprint.

Most of Blue Mountain Hospital's annual 12,000 pounds of medical waste comes from its dialysis center, labor and delivery ward, laboratory and surgical center. The waste consists of plastic tubing, artificial kidneys (dialyzers) which have been contaminated with blood and plasma, glass and plastic vials used for blood and lab sample collection, syringes, sharps (needles) containers, tissue and other organic material resulting from surgical procedures.

Prior to using the SteriMed® Systems unit, Blue Mountain Hospital disposed of its medical waste the same way that the vast majority of the nearly 6,000 U.S. hospitals do. It hauled its waste several hundred miles– often across state lines – to the nearest medical waste incinerator, which would burn the waste, generating airborne pollutants such as dioxins, furans and dangerous compounds. Blue Mountain Hospital, along with the Utah Navajo Health System (UNHS) paid as much as $5,000 each month to haul and incinerate of their medical waste using offsite incineration. Associated costs included a driver's salary, gas and insurance for the transport vehicle, and contract fees with incinerator companies. Often times the medical waste generated at the hospital would be stored for up to 30 days at the hospital before being transported to the incinerator. This on-site storage process also contributed to increased risk of healthcare acquired infection (HAI) within the hospital, whose goal is to provide a healthy environment for its patients.

"It was our only option," said Donna Singer, CEO of Blue Mountain Hospital. "The costs to us were huge, not only financially but in terms of human risk and environmental hazards. Storing our waste had potentially serious consequences, including the spread of infectious disease and the wind
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SOURCE SteriMed Systems and Blue Mountain Hospital
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