In this thesis, the design of infectious waste management systems (IWMs) of small health care providers (SHCPs) in North Eastern Thailand has been investigated on a theoretical and experimental basis. A critical survey of the literature has found that there is an urgent need for further research into the design of these IWMs at a systems design as well as an operational level of inquiry, especially as no related empirical studies have been detected in the literature for SHCPs in North Eastern Thailand. Based on a systems design approach, a comprehensive, model of an infectious waste management system has been developed progressively; firstly from a thematic review of the literature, and subsequently from empirical research based on surveys of ten SHCPs spread across a representative area of the Isan Region in North Eastern Thailand. This empirical research has employed a mixed-methods research design, as commonly used in the social sciences, in order to achieve a triangulation comparison of qualitative and quantitative data and, hence, provide a relatively strong validation of research findings. A pilot study, involving the design and testing of design concepts for a sharps container, has also been carried out (at a systems‟ operational level) to add useful expert feedback and further support the findings of the theoretical and empirical investigation. As a result of a progressive design process, based on updated empirical evidence, the final generic model of the IWMS proposed comprises seven main parameters and forty-three respective constituent variables appropriate for the SHCPs surveyed, and with potential for further deployment as a generic or generally applicable model in other health care providers, subject to more research. This proposed model is supported by a novel checklist which may be used as a tool by personnel in SHCPs to study and possibly make improvements in their respective IWMs. In addition, recommendations are included for current and future research in this field. Finally, a substantial data base of empirical, qualitative and quantitative information is provided in the attached Appendices, along with a Bibliography.
|Date of Award||2013|
|Supervisor||Livio Bonollo (Supervisor), Don Carson (Supervisor) & Jonathan Bremner (Supervisor)|