The Importance of Consistent Rx Waste Management
Proper drug waste disposal plays a crucial role in preserving patient, staff and community safety. Improper disposal can lead to hazardous workplace conditions and patient encounters, in addition to harmful environmental effects that can have long-lasting consequences. The good news is that managing this complex process doesn’t have to be done alone. To ensure a responsible and fully compliant program, it can be helpful to have an experienced waste management partner on your team that’s as committed to safety as you are.
3 Key Attributes to Consider When Finding a Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal Company
1. Ability to Handle All Pharmaceutical Waste
Health care organizations generate numerous types of drug waste, including both hazardous and non-hazardous. Within these two categories, there are even further classifications such as P- and U-listed waste, ignitable waste, toxic waste and more. All of it must be segregated into different containers and disposed of according to diverse regulations. Controlled substance waste is yet another category, and there are numerous best practices around how to mitigate risk when working with these potentially addictive drugs. A strong pharmaceutical waste management partner has clearly defined programs that can help you safely and securely treat a variety of drug waste, addressing things like appropriate segregation, proper disposal procedures and what happens after the waste leaves the facility.
While the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations currently require the management of only hazardous pharmaceutical waste, the appropriate disposal of all pharmaceutical waste is the industry-leading practice to assure that pharmaceuticals do not inadvertently enter waterways. The EPA will soon release its Final Rule on pharmaceutical waste disposal that will have an impact on how this waste stream is managed in 2019. Stericycle is poised to update and guide you through these changes.
2. Provides Comprehensive Training
Effective waste management can be established by fostering a compliance mindset that permeates the organization. Developing and sustaining this type of commitment requires robust training to repeatedly reinforce the importance of proper waste segregation, handling and management. Some of the most common forms of improper segregation are when regulated medical waste or sharps waste end up in a pharmaceutical container, increasing risk for those that handle the containers and creating negative impact on the environment.
A valuable partner can deliver comprehensive training that provides insights into the rationale behind compliance, as well as the logistics involved. Training should be easy to complete and be accessible in a variety of forms, including web-based options as well as onsite offerings that share real-world examples.
3. Minimizes the Burden on Staff
As health care workers focus on providing appropriate clinical care, the last thing they want or need to worry about is their pharmaceutical waste containers. A strong waste management partner will provide containers and disposal, plus help you stay one step ahead of regulatory compliance. Work with an organization that can help you reduce the burden on staff, with end-to-end offerings from containers to disposal.
Stericycle Is a Hands-On Partner That Meets Your Needs
Stericycle’s knowledgeable staff has deep experience in pharmaceutical waste management and stands ready to help you create a solid and reliable program. Learn how our robust pharmaceutical waste program can help meet all your facility’s pharmaceutical waste management needs.