June 19, 2023

Benefits of a One-Container Solution

Time is a precious commodity in hospitals. Between the number of patients and the need to provide complex yet compassionate care, staff do not have extra time to spare on inefficient waste disposal.

Two of the most common wastes produced during patient care include sharps waste and non-hazardous pharmaceutical waste:

  • Sharps waste includes any contaminated or potentially contaminated device with sharp points or edges that can puncture or damage the skin, including hypodermic needles, syringes, scalpels, and exposed ends of dental wires.
  • Non-Hazardous Waste Pharmaceutical includes any discarded drugs (including, e.g., dietary supplements, over-the-counter and prescription drugs, homeopathic drugs, compounded drugs, and investigational drugs) that are not classified as hazardous waste by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or a state equivalent.
    • Non-hazardous waste pharmaceuticals make up approximately 85% of the pharmaceutical waste generated in healthcare settings.

By simplifying the management of these two waste streams, staff can gain critical time, which can positively contribute to the quality of patient care. SharpsRx ProTM is the Stericycle one-container option that combines sharps and non-hazardous pharmaceutical waste streams into a cost-effective and convenient solution. Disposing of these two wastes together helps increase efficiency, which can lead to improved patient outcomes. Three key benefits of this solution include:

  • Improving efficiency
    • Streamline waste disposal by combining sharps and non-hazardous pharmaceutical waste within one convenient container.
    • Save nurses time by alleviating the need to leave the patient room to dispose of non-hazardous pharmaceutical waste.
    • Drive more positive patient outcomes by enabling nurses to have more time at the patient’s bedside.
  • Helping Safeguard your community
    • Reduce the risk of medication diversion by disposing of non-hazardous pharmaceutical waste at the point of administration.
    • Mitigate pharmaceutical contamination of the environment by sending non-hazardous pharmaceutical waste for incineration rather than disposing of it in the trash or down the drain.
    • Reduce your carbon footprint with reusable containers that help you divert single-use plastic from landfills.
  • Working with a trusted partner
    • Experience comprehensive onboarding and seamless installation that ensures minimal disruption of normal hospital routines and patient care.
    • Receive support from a well-established nationwide network.
    • Realize the benefits of flexible scheduling and flat monthly fees for easy budgeting.

Learn more about how Stericycle can help you achieve greater efficiencies by consolidating two common waste streams into one cost-effective and convenient solution with SharpsRx ProTM. Download our infographic to learn more about the benefits of the service. The availability of SharpsRx ProTM varies by location. Contact your Stericycle representative for more details.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements for sharps waste containers?

The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) requires contaminated sharps, including needles and scalpels, to be discarded in containers that are closable, puncture resistant, leakproof, and labeled/color-coded.

What are the general guidelines for discarding non-hazardous pharmaceutical waste?

Although not required, the U.S. EPA endorses medical waste incineration as a treatment method for non-hazardous waste pharmaceuticals because it helps keep active pharmaceutical ingredients out of the environment when compared to disposing of them down the drain or in the regular trash.

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