Title: Interdisciplinary analysis of hazardous hospital waste management in tertiary hospitals in Medellin

Authors: Gladis Cecilia Villegas-Arias; Mariluz Betancur-Vélez; Ruth Marina Agudelo-Cadavid; Alejandra Hoyos-López

Addresses: Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Administrativas, Universidad de Medellín, Carrera 87 N° 30-65, Medellín, Colombia ' Grupo de Investigaciones Ambientales (GIA), Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Circular 1 N° 74-50 Medellín, Colombia ' Facultad Nacional de Salud Pública, Universidad de Antioquia, Cl. 62 #52-59, Medellín, Colombia ' Facultad Nacional de Salud Pública, Universidad de Antioquia, Cl. 62 #52-59, Medellín, Colombia

Abstract: Medellín is a region where opportunities have been identified to improve the system for managing hazardous hospital waste (HHW). This study combines research methods of administration, environmental engineering, and public health, to assess the quality of these systems in eight out of 12 tertiary hospitals of the study region. These hospitals were used to model the process and propose an administrative tool to intervene its quality. Thereby, we applied a process checklist to audit compliance with current legislation, we conducted participant observation to understand the steps and relationships of the process, and we interviewed critical actors and analysed administrative practices to understand decision making and stakeholder involvement. Results included a digital model and the identification of four key factors such as: infrastructure, logistics management, administration, and managerial control. The hospitals certified the utility of these results to diagnose points of intervention, and to assess performance comparatively, which enhances opportunities for benchmarking.

Keywords: hazardous hospital waste; HHW; tertiary hospitals; interdisciplinary analysis; hospital waste management; hospital waste administration; hospital infrastructure; hospital waste logistics; hospital waste control; hospital waste model; biomedical waste; environmental waste management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEWM.2020.109167

International Journal of Environment and Waste Management, 2020 Vol.26 No.3, pp.402 - 422

Received: 25 Dec 2018
Accepted: 04 Jun 2019

Published online: 01 Sep 2020 *

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