Recently an article, “Minimize Risk: More than 27 Ways to Ensure Multiple Waste Streams are Safe and Compliant” was published in Executive Insights.
In this piece we outline for U.S. hospital and healthcare facility leaders the need to research and identify the right internal and external experts to help manage regulated medical waste (RMW), including sharps and pharmaceutical waste. At Stericycle, we believe it is important to take steps whenever possible to minimize risks and costs while increasing quality, safety and compliance. Significant liabilities are associated with the disposal of RMW. Why? The responsibility for this waste stream lies solely with the facility generating the waste. Choosing a strategic partner that helps assure safe handling and disposal, as well as regulatory compliance, can minimize risk and help ease pressure on teams where the primary focus is on patient care. Successfully managing nearly a dozen healthcare waste streams per facility begins with knowing where to start. In this article we offer four primary considerations and dozens of ways to maintain a compliant, safe and healthy environment for your staff and patients. Set yourself up for success by finding the right experts and putting the appropriate teams and resources behind a well thought out waste stream management plan. Partner with RMW experts that are also regulatory experts. This is an important move toward knowing the agencies and their expectations, including the Department of Transportation (DOT), State and local level environmental and health departments, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and more. Sharps are potentially a healthcare organization’s biggest vulnerability for noncompliance and injury if not properly managed. Proactively managing sharps disposal can help increase safety for your teams and visitors as well as mitigate financial risk. Hazardous pharmaceutical waste is a relatively new category for health facility pharmacy teams. This unique waste type is segregated and designated by letters such as P, U, and D, and by whether it’s toxic, corrosive, ignitable or reactive. Sound complicated? It is. A good partner helps simplify complicated regulations which can help increase compliance with your teams. Proper waste stream management considers all waste stream types – both regulated and non-regulated — and requires creating and operationalizing processes.