Essay Sample on Healthcare Wastes and Waste Reduction Measures

Published: 2022-06-08
Essay Sample on Healthcare Wastes and Waste Reduction Measures
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Healthcare
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1272 words
11 min read

Expenditure Items in Residential Care Homes

Healthcare expenditure evaluates the final consumption of the healthcare goods and services such as personal health care, which may be in the form of rehabilitative care, medical goods, ancillary services, and curative care, and common services such as public health services, prevention, residential care, and administration. Such expenditures are catered for through a mix or financial arrangements such as the compulsory health insurance, government spending, private funds, voluntary health insurance, and from voluntary private corporation funding (Department of Health, 2017). For instance, expenditures in residential care homes constitute more than 15% of the Republic of Ireland's healthcare budget, taking care of individuals aged more than 65 years and above. Most of their expenditures include chronic diseases treatment, which caters for more than 80% of the checkups, hospital admissions, and acute hospital services. For instance, in the Irish healthcare system, the aged population or individuals in medical care centers constituted more than 14% of the inpatient bed days in the country (Department of Health, 2017). Social care also constitutes the expenditure incurred by the health care system directly focused on assisting the aged population in residential care homes.

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Healthcare Wastes

Healthcare wastes constitute an array of meanings in healthcare systems and hospitals across the globe. For instance, primarily, healthcare wastes constitute of the byproducts from the healthcare systems such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals, sharp and non-sharp medical instruments, body parts, blood, and radioactive materials (Mohee, 2005). Mismanagement of such materials exposes patients, waste handlers, workers, and the society to toxic effects, infections, and injuries. More so medical wastes may be in the form of wasted time, human potential, finances, and technical steps. These are the extra costs incurred in the healthcare sector as a result of inefficiency in service provision, which could be avoided if all the resources would be utilized in an organized and concise manner (Dellefield et al., 2015). For instance, staffing issues such as inadequacy, use of underqualified medical personnel, which reduce the level of efficiency in residential care homes due to improper diagnosis and treatment methods. Poor service delivery also indicates inefficiency and wastages in the residential care homes, since such culprits tend to incur unnecessary costs of additional treatments and checkups.

In general, healthcare waste results from factors such as defects and inefficient clinical practices, where the medical practitioners spend time and capital in correcting errors resulting from incorrect clinical processes such as time wasted in locating an item missing in a surgical case (Mohee, 2005). More so, overproduction in a healthcare system constitutes wastages, where practitioners prescribe more than what is needed by the client such as unnecessary diagnostic procedures. Further, inefficient clinical practices and procedures lead to time wastages, random motions, where the patients are forced to move either from floor to floor or building to the other due to inadequate planning. Moreover, human resource management represents significant wastages regarding poor service delivery, use of agency staff utilized in residential care homes resulting to reduced quality in healthcare services provided. Poor quality primary care also leads to healthcare wastages as individuals tend to seek secondary treatments resulting from mistakes made or neglect during the primary medical treatment services (Dellefield et al., 2015). For instance, a patient may acquire additional infections such as pressure sores which may be as a result of neglect during surgery, thus necessitating interventions such as secondary and expensive treatments.

Waste Reduction Measures

Healthcare waste reduction is a burden for all the stakeholders in the sector, which ought to be coordinated and interdependent to ensure its success in the long run. For instance, the nurses in collaboration with the waste management personnel are responsible for the establishment and maintenance of an efficient waste disposal system. Additionally, the technical wastages can be managed through the use of a nurse manager to ensure that all duties are performed and the allocation done concisely. Various measures can be utilized to ease and facilitate waste management and reduction measures such as:

Efficient Use of Resources

Cost-effectiveness is the primary target for the adoption of the efficient use of resources in an organization; specifically, a healthcare system. Nurses are one of the primary instrument that can be utilized in a healthcare system to effect efficiency in resources utilization. Through the use of a nursing manager, healthcare facilities have access to an effective way of managing their available resources, which then can be directed to serving the available patients in such a setup. A nurse manager is responsible for developing the resultant departmental budgets, where he/she ensures that the available funds are allocated enough finances especially based on the significance of such expenditures in promoting quality and affordable healthcare services provision. He/she is also accountable for maintaining an inventory incorporating healthcare equipment, medicines, and supplies (International Council of Nurses, 2015). Thus, through the use of an effective nursing manager, a health center increases its capability and efficiency in the availability of the required resources, which in turn reduces wastages such as inadequacy and oversupply of specific equipment. Additionally, a nurse manager must represent nurses in the upper management meetings meant for major decision-making moves. This enables him'/her to present their grievances on the availability of resources which will ensure the provision of relevant and modern equipment and hiring of the adequate labor force to handle the rising number of patients. Therefore, through the accomplishment of these duties, such a manager is responsible for the efficient use of resources in a healthcare facility.

Workforce Management

One of the primary roles of the nursing manager is the evaluation of the staff nurses. If nurses and medical personnel are performing exceptionally, then the probability of wastes such as inadequate primary care and long patient waits will be reduced or eliminated due to the efficiency levels in healthcare services provided. Moreover, the nursing manager is liable to provide feedback and establish a mentoring program through the provision of additional educational programs. Such programs are aimed at increasing the employee morale as well as advancing their career milestones, which further raises their level of service delivery. Notably, the nurse manager also vets and hire medical staff and nurses (International Council of Nurses, 2015). Therefore, to ensure that wastes are reduced in such institutions, they must acquire qualified and expert individuals to ensure that the patients especially the aged have access to high quality and relevant health services and goods.

Improvement of Quality of Care

Through hiring of qualified medical providers, mentoring and staff development duties, evaluation of their work, and acquisition of relevant and adequate resources required by the medical personnel, nursing managers prove their relevance in promoting improvement in care delivery. Once the nurses and other medical staff ensure that the services offered are of high quality, the chances of healthcare wastes will reduce drastically (International Council of Nurses, 2015). For instance, cases of neglect will reduce as well as secondary complications resulting from inadequate care given during the primary healthcare services such as surgery. Thereby, this will go a long way in ensuring that the wastages or resources such as time and capital are reduced.

Reference List

Dellefield, M.E., Castle, N.G., McGilton, K.S. and Spilsbury, K., 2015. The relationship between registered nurses and nursing home quality: An integrative review (2008-2014). Nursing Economics, 33(2), p.95.

Department of Health (2017). Health Promotion and Improvement | Department of Health. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 May 2018].

International Council of Nurses (2015). Nurses: A Force for Change Care Effective, Cost Effective. [online] Available at: [Accessed 27 May 2018].

Mohee, R., 2005. Medical wastes characterization in healthcare institutions in Mauritius. Waste management, 25(6), pp.575-581.

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