CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Edison Nation Medical, a health care innovation marketplace, today announced a worldwide search for ideas to improve the disposal of hazardous waste material in hospitals and healthcare facilities. The search seeks to address one of the most inefficient and costly areas of opportunity within healthcare. Innovation ideas including, but not limited to, new devices, equipment, containers, and educational signage are all welcome.
Edison Nation Medical's search is open to the public and innovators from around the world are encouraged to submit ideas through the organization's confidential portal (www.EdisonNationMedical.com/waste) now through October 24, 2014. After reviewing and selecting the most promising ideas, Edison Nation Medical will work toward licensing those products and share licensing royalties with inventors whose ideas are successfully commercialized.
Hazardous waste is defined as waste that poses substantial or potential threats to public health or the environment. Hospitals are one of the largest generators of hazardous waste in the U.S. and the second largest expense on a hospital's balance sheet (following labor) is supply chain costs. The majority of the materials procured by a hospital ultimately become waste, resulting in nearly 7,000 tons of waste every day and $10 billion annually in disposal costs across the health care industry.
One of the biggest opportunities for cost savings is proper allocation of "Red Bag" versus "Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)". Regulated medical waste that requires proper red bag medical waste disposal includes liquid or semi-liquid blood or other potentially infectious materials (defined below); contaminated items that would release blood or other potentially infectious materials in a liquid or semi-liquid state if compressed; items that are caked with dried blood or other potentially infectious materials and are capable of releasing these materials during handling; contaminated sharps; and pathological and microbiological wastes containing blood or other potentially infectious materials.
Proper and effective handling and disposal of "Red Bag" medical waste is not only essential to the safety of patients and staff, but can also save the hospital, nursing home or other medical facility thousands of dollars in unnecessary disposal costs of non bio-hazardous medical waste. Many hospitals routinely throw 50-70% of their waste into the bio-hazardous waste stream, even though a large percentage of hospital or medical facility waste is very similar to that of an office building: it consists mostly of paper, cardboard and food waste that does not require Red Bag disposal guidelines. By comparison, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that only 2-3% of hospital medical waste truly needs to be disposed of as infectious Red Bag hazardous materials. The economic impact of these errors is significant: red bagged waste costs up to 10 times more for disposal than municipal solid waste and up to 30 times more than recycling.
Another area for hazardous waste disposal improvement is proper recycling. The average cost to dispose of municipal solid waste (MSW) in a hospital is approximately $250 – $300 per bed and the average 500 bed hospital will spend $150,000 annually on MSW contracts. Between 25-30% of MSW contains materials that could be recycled with the proper recycling program. Other hazardous waste disposal areas in need of innovation include everything from chemical hazardous waste, construction and demolition debris, pathological waste, pharmaceutical waste, laboratory reagent waste, radioactive waste, recyclables, solid waste and waste water.
"Hazardous waste disposal is a complicated and costly compliance challenge to healthcare organizations," said Robert Grajewski, president of Edison Nation Medical. "We believe there is a significant opportunity to introduce innovative new equipment, containers, devices, and educational signage that will standardize proper hazardous waste disposal practices across the industry and, thus, make smart choices as easy as possible for busy healthcare workers."
Joining Edison Nation Medical is free and ideas submitted to the confidential and secure online portal are vetted through an in-depth review process led by the Edison Nation Medical team of medical, product development and legal experts. The end goal is to commercialize each qualified product idea and, when Edison Nation Medical is successful in doing so, licensing royalties are shared with the inventor.
For more information or to submit an idea, go to www.EdisonNationMedical.com/waste.
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