For 25 years, Stericycle has helped customers achieve and maintain compliance with a multitude of regulations, especially those pertaining to medical waste management, secure information destruction and patient communications. Operating in 22 countries, the company offers diverse services, including comprehensive training, expert-led advisory services and responsive transportation and disposal. Recently, Waste360—the waste industry’s news and education organization—interviewed Stericycle CEO and President Charles Alutto. During the conversation, Alutto discussed the company’s commitment to innovation, delivering compliant medical waste disposal solutions, and driving safety among our team and in the communities we serve.
Dedicated to Healthcare Compliance
Alutto took the reins at Stericycle in January 2013, and since then, the company has built on its long-standing commitment to continued growth and new product development. Nearly all its offerings relate to compliance in some way. The company delivers a diverse selection of turnkey programs, including specialty waste management, drug disposal, secure information destruction and OSHA compliance.
As one detailed example, the company has a pharmaceutical waste program aimed at hospitals in which organizations receive a complete review of onsite pharmaceuticals and training on segregating materials into hazardous and non-hazardous categories. As part of the program, Stericycle provides specially designed pharmaceutical waste containers and facilitates waste collection and transportation; safe and proper disposal; and tracking and documentation. Online education tools ensure hospital staff understands the regulations associated with specific waste streams. Stericycle also has a pharmaceutical waste program tailored specifically for the unique needs of physician practices.
Throughout all the company’s offerings, a key theme is easy and straightforward compliance along with strong training and education.
Responding to the Opioid Crisis in America
A continued focus for the company is the secure disposal of unused or expired opioids – opioid crisis as a public health emergency. Stericycle is committed to solutions that prevent drug diversion and misuse by minimizing the improper disposal of pharmaceuticals. In addition to helping healthcare providers safely dispose of excess opioids and other controlled substances, Stericycle has introduced several new products that facilitate community drug disposal. Through Seal&Send Medication MailBack Envelopes and Medication Collection Kiosks, Stericycle provides safe and convenient options for consumers who wish to throw away their unused or expired medications.
Environmental & Workplace Safety Programs
Shifting focus to the company’s operations, safety is a key focus area. Since transportation plays a crucial role in most of the company’s offerings, transportation safety is a top priority. The company uses the latest technology, such as backup cameras and telematics, to prevent accidents, monitor speed and keep track of excessive stopping and idling. Moreover, the company employs a continuous performance improvement mindset to mitigate risk, reduce costs and enhance customer service, including implementing initiatives to optimize efficiency.
Stericycle’s processing plants also strive to sustain the highest levels of safety, making sure they maintain equipment and operating at peak performance. Last year, Stericycle’s Parkersburg, West Virginia plant was recognized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for excellent worker safety and health. Plant staff tirelessly labored to earn this recognition, identifying a variety of improvement opportunities and fostering a safety culture that permeates the plant. This commitment resulted in injury and illness rates that fall well below National Bureau of Labor Statistics metrics.
Remaining Poised to Respond to Health & Safety Regulations and Threats
In addition to supporting ongoing compliance efforts, Stericycle remains ever vigilant about new and emerging health and safety threats. For example, soon after the first Ebola-infected patient entered the United States, the company worked with various regulatory agencies to develop a set of waste transportation and disposal requirements for Ebola-infected materials. The company was the first to receive a special permit to transport these materials.
Looking to 2018 and beyond, Stericycle will continue to invest in and deliver innovative solutions that help customers achieve continuous compliance, preserve patient and staff safety and facilitate strong environmental stewardship. The company remains committed to anticipating and meeting customer needs to keep healthcare organizations - and the communities they serve - safe.