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Report reveals patient confidence in hygiene protocols but lack of knowledge over safe disposal of meds
Americans are confident that the medical care they receive is safe and follows proper protocols. In fact, 91% who sought medical attention at a doctor's office, hospital, urgent care or other medical facility in the last year agree that the protocols followed, made them feel safe and protected.
That's according to findings from the recent study, 'The Patient Safety Report', conducted by Stericycle, which provides specialised compliance-based healthcare and waste solutions.
Among the 1,200 US patients surveyed, an overwhelming majority agreed that safety protocols were followed and felt confident that their medical professional:
* Routinely washed their hands, wore gloves and took precautionary sanitary measures (94%)
* Administered shots or drew blood by putting on a fresh pair of gloves before starting the process (94%), cleaning the site for injection (89%) and disposing of syringes in a red sharps container (84%)
* Had access to and used medical waste bins to dispose of medical waste (92%)
Interestingly, the report revealed new issues for patients and providers to consider. It found that patients still lack understanding of how to handle or dispose of their unused prescriptions, which is problematic for preventing opioid abuse and improper waste disposal.
Nearly half (48%) agree that their medical professional explained how to properly dispose of prescription medication. However, one in 10 patients disagree that they know how to properly dispose of prescription medication, and this lack of understanding has led patients to create potential public safety risks by:
* Flushing medication down the toilet (17%)
* Throwing it away in the trash/garbage (16%)
* Holding onto unused prescriptions (17%)
"We commend our healthcare partners for creating safe, clean and medically sound experiences for patients," says Cindy Miller, president and CEO Elect of Stericycle. "It's clear that patients notice and value the steps medical providers take for safety.
"However, we do see an opportunity and need our society to continue providing safe disposal options as well as educating patients on how to handle and dispose of leftover opioids. This is another critical step that communities, medical professionals and lawmakers should consider to help stop the spread of opioids."
Stericycle is a U.S. based business-to-business services company and leading provider of compliance-based solutions that protect people and brands, promote health and safeguard the environment. It serves more than one million customers in all 50 US states and 21 countries worldwide with solutions for regulated waste management, secure information destruction, compliance and customer contact.
28th March 2019