6 Common Mistakes When Doctors' Offices Hire Medical Waste Management Companies
Not Checking the Permits, Insurance, and Licenses of the Waste Management Company
These kinds of companies need specific licenses and permits to handle, transport, and dispose of certain waste. Make sure that whatever company you choose to work with is legally able to handle every time of waste you produce. (For example, if a company is going to manage hazardous materials, they will need a specific hazardous waste permit.)
If they don't have adequate insurance to deal with an accident, you could end up taking on that financial burden. In this way, one simple question could end up saving your office an incredible amount of money!
Not Asking about the Paperwork
The paperwork associated with every shipment (whether that's a shipping manifest, a bill of lading, or something else) is your proof you are in full compliance with all state, local, and federal laws related to your waste disposal. If you're ever subject to an audit, you must produce this paperwork to prove your compliance.
One of the biggest mistakes doctors' offices make is not ensuring the company they choose to work with is fully versed in this paperwork. Whatever company you select needs to know the paperwork of the medical waste disposal industry inside and out—and follow the letter of the law with every shipment.
Failing to Select a Full-Service Waste Company
It's common for doctors' offices to have varying waste needs. If the office is particularly busy during a certain part of the year and less busy during the other months, you want a company that is flexible enough to scale up and down with you. This way, you don't have to spend the time, money, and energy to find, vet, and work with multiple companies. Rather, you can have the convenience (and money saving) of working with one trusted company.
You should also lean toward full-service waste companies if you think your doctor's office is ever going to grow its business. If, down the line, you need document destruction or annual OSHA training, it's easy and cost effective to work with the company you already know and trust.
Minimizing the Importance of Customer Service in the Medical Waste Disposal Industry
Doctors' offices don't always immediately think of customer service as a necessity when hiring this type of company, but reputable, knowledgeable, reliable customer service can make a world of difference! If you have questions or need an immediate waste pickup, you want a company that you can easily get a hold of—and who can provide accurate answers to your questions.
To ascertain a company's level of service, request multiple testimonials and read online reviews from their existing customer base.
Selecting an Inflexible Company
Especially if you're a growing practice, you want a company that is flexible. Some months you might need multiple pickups; others you'll only need one. Your company should be able to work with you to accommodate this fluctuation.
No matter how many pickups you need, the company should be prompt and professional and send drivers who are trained, properly uniformed, and courteous.
Agreeing to a Lengthy Waste Management Contract
Waste management contracts are often multiyear deals that lock you into a high monthly fee. They can be difficult to get out of without paying extensive early termination fees, and they often lead to overpaying every month, since you are essentially being charged for a host of services, only some of which you actually need and use. You also have to be wary of the exact wording of some contracts, as companies can raise your rates on you, and since you've already signed, you're obligated to pay that higher fee.
The preferable system is a waste management service agreement. This isn't a contract, so you aren't locked in, and you only pay for what you use in any given month. This allows you to essentially "test" a company. If you're not happy after a few trial months, you can simply move on to another company, without having to worry about being contractually bound to the first.
For more information about the biggest mistakes to avoid when selecting your next medical waste management company, reach out to a representative of MCF Environmental Services today!