In addition to helping bridge interdepartmental coordination gaps, which is often necessary when a project requires multidisciplinary coordination, our team offered a comprehensive spectrum of environmental services, saving the client the trouble of having to find a different provider for each area of need.
The project scope included full-time, on-site compliance support services. This consisted of environmental report preparation and submission, hazardous materials and waste management, participation in both environmental and health-and-safety-related regulatory inspections, multidisciplinary committee development and oversight, and weekly internal inspections.
In addition, we provided health and safety policy and procedure development, spill cleanup coordination, environmental training material development, sustainable practice development and implementation, stormwater and wastewater support, spill plan preparation, and overall guidance and oversight of all environmental processes and procedures at the hospital.
The team also worked directly with the Environmental Health and Safety director to assess every element of care in preparation for multiple Joint Commission surveys. This included preparing policies and implementing procedures to support survey and investigation readiness related to hazardous material and waste standards, and assisting the hospital in providing a safe environment for work and care.
Within this area of service, our team provided ongoing air compliance support for multiple hospital operations subject to the Clean Air Act. Initially, we performed an air compliance audit and conducted in-depth field investigations covering more than 100 emission sources. The combination of these projects improved the quality of the emission source data and air emission estimates, which are used for annual reporting and permitting purposes.
Following this initial phase of work, we prepared an emissions inventory questionnaire, used related information to evaluate the applicability of certain federal and state regulations, and replaced existing air permits with new and operationally flexible construction and operating permits. During this process, we worked closely with a state agency permit writer to develop, review and secure the final permits.
In addition, we created an annual certification report document and emission tracking system to support compliance with the requirements of the operating permit and applicable regulations. We established internal policies and procedures to implement an air compliance program.
INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE SUPPORT
Recognizing that the importance of hazardous drug evaluation and preparedness continues to grow, and the development of risk assessments is becoming increasingly vital to patient and employee safety and regulatory compliance, our team provided guidance for the hospital in establishing a Hazardous Drug Management Committee (HDMC) to review hazardous drugs and develop associated policies and procedures.
As part of this project, we developed an assessment of risk for all hazardous drugs listed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). This included an assessment form and decision-making criteria for the evaluation of existing, new and investigational drugs. Internal policies and procedures were created for tracking, maintaining and reporting hazardous materials and related statistics. Execution of this distinctive assessment process positions the hospital at the forefront of the industry curve and allows the hospital to apply it as a standard at any of its facilities within its organizational system.
With our leadership in multidisciplinary committees, development and coordination of large-scale staff training sessions, and incorporation of best practices, we increased the hospital’s recycling rate from 15 percent to 25 percent, decreased its solid waste rate from 75 percent to 67 percent, and decreased its regulated medical waste rate from 10 percent to 8 percent of the total waste stream. Because of the effort dedicated to critical environmental and sustainability upgrades and tracking, our client obtained the Greenhealth Partner for Change Award from Practice Greenhealth, which recognizes superior performance in environmental sustainability.
In the areas of air compliance, we increased the accuracy of reported annual emissions and obtained permits that offered greater operational flexibility for the physical plants.