The medical waste management company you choose to work with matters. The consequences for working with an inexperienced or less-than-knowledgeable company are high, and as a medical facility, you are often liable for any mistakes that company makes with your generated waste. When it's your finances and office on the line, it becomes essential that you choose the best. This means ensuring the company is fully legal to operate, but it's also about more intangible qualities such as customer service.
Doctor Offices and Hospitals - Tips to Hiring the Right Medical Waste Company.
The Legal Aspect of Medical Waste
When you generate medical waste, you are responsible for that waste from the time of its creation until its proper disposal. As the generator, the onus is always on you. Even if you hire a medical waste management company, you are still liable if something happens with that waste or if it isn't properly handled.
Before agreeing to work with any waste management company, check they have:
The proper permitting to handle, transport, and dispose of your waste.
Adequate insurance. Many companies carry about one million dollars of insurance, but some have upwards of five million dollars.
Enforcement of employee training. All employees should be trained according to what tasks they are performing. That means knowing how to properly transport medical waste as well as knowing how to properly dispose of medical waste.
Once you've ensured the company, you're looking to partner with is in full legal compliance to deal with the waste you generate, you can start differentiating between companies based on the level of medical disposal services you're going to receive.
One such important differentiating factor is professionalism. Unlike hazardous waste disposal where the pickup site is often industrial, medical waste disposal means walking into a professional office. The drivers will often have to walk right through waiting areas and past patients.
Therefore, drivers should:
Be dressed properly in a clean, neat, professional uniform.
Conduct themselves with respect toward waiting patients, doctors, nurses, administrative staff, and anyone else in the medical office.
Be as unobtrusive as possible when dealing with the waste pickup.
Be knowledgeable about the industry and be able to answer any questions you might have—or direct you to who can answer them.
Flexibility with Medical Waste Pickup
You always want to work with a company that's willing to make you a priority. This includes a willingness and ability to be flexible about pickup schedules and any changes to the services you require from month to month.
Pickup schedules shouldn't be so rigid that it creates problems for your medical facility. Whether you need the waste dealt with weekly, monthly, biyearly, etc., the company should be able to accommodate.
Along the same lines, if you have an emergency and need your generated medical waste picked up outside your established or scheduled time, you want to work with a company that can handle those one-off requests.
Medical Waste Service Agreements
While some companies in the medical waste management field require you to sign ironclad, multiyear medical waste contracts, these can be very difficult (and expensive) to extricate yourself from—even if you're unhappy with that company.
If you are going to sign a contract, review it with complete thoroughness. Ask any and all questions before signing, and make sure the terms of that contract are acceptable to your medical facility. (These contracts can even include terms such as the ability to raise prices without notice, so be aware and cautious.)
If you want to avoid contracts, opt for medical waste service agreements instead. This basically gives you a thirty-day out. If you're not happy with the service for any reason, that company has thirty days to rectify the situation. If you're still not happy, you can leave.
For more information about how to find the right medical waste management company, please feel free to contact me or a representative of Medical Waste Services, LLC a Midwest Medical Waste Management Company.