It's no small task for a doctors' office manager to choose the right medical waste management company, but it doesn't need to be an overwhelming process. With a few waste management tips and tricks, you can go in prepared with all the knowledge and know-how you need to select the company that's going to provide the best value and customer service, while being the most knowledgeable, reputable, and professional.
What a Doctors' Office Manager Should Look for in a Medical Waste Management Company
Priority Number One: Minimize Medical Waste Disposal Cost; Maximize Service
The largest concern of an office manager is often to ensure the doctors' office is not overpaying for their medical waste disposal needs but is still receiving the highest level of customer service possible. This can be a challenging balancing act.
A good rule of thumb is to get multiple estimates from waste management companies. (Typically three is sufficient.) As with any service or product, don't simply jump at the lowest price available. Ask additional questions and do more research to find which will offer the best value.
Waste Management Contracts: Everything an Officer Manager Should Know
One of the easiest ways for a doctors' office to overpay for their medical waste removal needs is by getting locked into a multiyear waste management contract. This often leads to paying for services month after month that your doctors' office doesn't even need, use, or want.
If you're new to your position as an officer manager, the first thing you should check is whether or not you're currently under contract. If you are, learn the exact stipulations and details of that contract:
- Is your staff happy with the terms of the contract and the service provided?
- Is the contract financially your best choice?
- Is it cheaper to break the contract or stay until it expires (and avoid the associated breakage fee)?
- When is your renewal date?
- What exactly do you need to do to get out of your contract and avoid automatic renewal?
In a doctors' office, staff turnover can be frequent. Don't let a logistical issue such as that cause you to accidentally get renewed and locked into another multiyear contract.
The most cost-effective alternative to contracts tends to be a waste management service agreement. In this system, you simply pay from month to month for the services you used for that month.
Knowledgeable, Personable, and Professional Staff
You need to have a lot of confidence in your waste management company because you will be entrusting them with properly disposing of your waste. If they don't fully comply with the legal requirements of that job, the fines and punitive actions could come back against your doctors' office. This is part of why choosing the right medical waste disposal company is so critical.
One easy way to differentiate between medical waste management companies is by gauging the knowledge and expertise of their employees. How informed and helpful are their drivers? Their customer service representatives? Your account manager?
The company should be willing and able to take the time to educate you about the medical waste disposal industry, and they should provide this educational value even before you officially sign on a paying customer. This knowledge can help you make an informed decision about what company to choose, but it's also a good indication of whether you'll be viewed as a valued customer or just another number in a database.
This industry knowledge and ability to convey that to their customers matters a great deal, and if you're hesitant about these qualities, that's a big red flag against that particular company.
Easy, Helpful, Available Customer Service
If something goes wrong regarding your medical waste or you have an urgent question, you want the peace of mind that your company will be available to answer those questions or address those issues.
In an emergency situation, you shouldn't be sitting on hold for hours or listening to endless prerecorded options through an 800 number. You should have access to phone numbers that get you to live people in the company, and if you don't get a response immediately, you should get a call back within a few hours.
When it comes to potentially dangerous waste situations, you need great customer service—and that means it's timely as well as helpful.
Talk to a Live Sales Representative
Perhaps the easiest way to ascertain the best company is by simply taking a few minutes to talk to a sales rep. The good companies will quickly separate from the pack. The right company will ask relevant questions about you and your business and will be knowledgeable and confident about how to provide you with the services you need. They'll also be up front if something is outside the realm of their expertise. Working with a company like this can ultimately end up saving your doctors' office a lot time and money.
For more information about what office managers should look for when choosing medical waste disposal companies, please feel free to contact a representative of MCF Environmental Services, an Atlanta waste management company.