Federal and state regulations mandate how waste from medical services is disposed of. However, if you fail to meet the requirements, you could be facing some hefty fines.
The medical community relies on disposal services to take care of their needs and keep them and their patients safe. However, not all services are the same. And this isn’t an industry where you can let the little things go.
Here are six signs that you need a new medical waste disposal service.
1. Poor Service
There’s nothing worse than poor service. But when you’re dealing with medical waste, poor service means potential health hazards, as well as the possibility of hefty fines or lawsuits.
It shouldn’t be difficult to pick up the phone and contact your biohazard waste services company when you need them. If you’re encountering rude and unfriendly service representatives, it’s an added frustration to your life.
No one should feel forced to work with a company unwilling to train and hire their representatives to offer excellent and polite service to all their customers.
Lastly, if your biohazard waste company isn’t willing to offer a service guarantee, start looking for a new company. There’s nothing worse than being forced to pay for bad service.
Read Your Contract
Check with the new company to find out how long the duration of their contract is. If they want you to sign a contract for longer than 12 months, it could be a warning sign.
Many companies who insist on a 3 to 5 year contract do so because it forces you to stick with them. Some will even charge you thousands of dollars to get out of your contract.
Read and understand everything in your contract before you sign on the dotted line. You can also try to find a company who is willing to back up their service with a guarantee.
2. Inconvenient Pickup Times
It’s often hard to find medical waste companies willing to change their pickup schedules to suit your needs. That’s because it costs them money.
But there are times when you need an immediate response. If your company isn’t willing to work with your schedule and needs, it might be time to change companies.
3. The Price Isn’t Great
Many medical waste service companies will be happy to quote you a low monthly charge on the front page of your contract.
However, if you don’t read any further, you’ll miss the fine print that outlines additional fees.
Check for Additional Fees
Make sure your company is upfront and transparent about their fee structure. You may be subject to container surcharges, stop fees, fuel charges, and even excess waste fees. All of that can actually triple your original quote.
Other mystery fees like administration fees, environmental fees, and document fees are also charged to the customer. Some companies will even charge you for containers, boxes, and red bags.
Every day is different in the medical industry. Sometimes there is a lot of waste to dispose of. Other days, there’s very little or none.
If your company is charging you to pick up five barrels but you only have one, it’s time to change. The same is true for those days when you need an extra pickup.
Make sure your contract outlines when and how the company will dispose of your waste. Know which circumstances will cause them to raise your rates.
4. The Employees Aren’t Properly Trained
The medical waste industry is highly regulated. Which means everyone needs to know, understand, and follow the rules. That goes for both you and your staff, as well as the entire staff of the company that disposes of your biohazardous waste.
This also includes the pickup drivers. Drivers should always wear a professional uniform when servicing the business.
If anyone sees the removal, for the benefit of your own company image, you want to show that you take waste removal seriously and only hire the best. If you discover your vendor has hired a driver or anyone else without providing them with proper training, this is a huge red flag.
Every employee needs comprehensive training in biohazardous medical waste. They should also receive ongoing training that teaches them about OSHA blood-borne pathogens, HIPPA laws, and hazard communications.
Each employee your service hires should also be required to pass a criminal background check and a drug test. Ask your current company if this is being done.
If it’s not, ask why. If they can’t answer this, it’s time to move to a new company.
5. The Company Has Violated Federal/State Standards
It’s your responsibility to do your due diligence. If something goes wrong, it’s not the medical waste disposal company who gets hit with fines. It’s your company.
If your patients discover you haven’t been disposing of your medical waste properly, you could lose a lot of business.
To protect yourself and your business, make a call to the regulatory authority for biohazardous transporters in your state. Verify with that regulatory authority that the disposal company is registered with them and does not have a history of violations.
While you’re at it, update yourself on the most current federal laws to ensure both you and the waste disposal company are in full compliance.
6. The Company Is Inflexible
Some medical waste companies operate their business similar to how waste management companies run theirs. These companies typically drop off a container and then pick it up within a week or month. Usually, this is all they provide.
In this industry, there needs to be a professional waste assessment performed on a regular basis. This is to ensure all regulatory issues are addressed before they handle your waste.
If your company isn’t willing to create a customized and comprehensive waste disposal program, start looking for a company who will.
Make the Switch to a Better Medical Waste Company
If you’re unhappy with your current provider, it’s time to make the switch.
We’re trained to handle all types of biohazardous waste. We also handle sharps container disposals and offer OSHA training.
Our employees receive the best training to ensure you and your business stay within federal and state regulations. Click here to learn all about our services and how we can help!