1. Can you/will you provide all services necessary to keep me compliant with regulations?
Truly compliant service involves proper waste segregation, packaging, storage, documentation and timing. Knowledgeable and professional companies understand this, part-timers and "hobby" collectors, less so. REMEMBER: It's your waste, long after it is collected and taken away. Know who you are entrusting with your biohazardous waste.
2. Are you a "full service" company (collection, TREATMENT and disposal) or are you merely a hauler/broker?
Biohazardous waste hauling companies have proliferated over the course of the past several years. Most are looking to quickly build a customer base and then "sell out" to one well known national medical waste management company. Tired of the shell game? Know who to trust, and know their track record. If they haven't had time to build a track record, proceed with caution.
3. Is your pricing simple and straight-forward, or do you have multiple fees and additional charges I won't discover until later?
The collection, treatment and disposal of biohazardous waste is not terribly complicated. With limited exceptions, pricing should be simple and straight-forward. If you can't get a clear answer on pricing, that's because the pricing you have been quoted is NOT clear.
4. How are price increases handled and communicated?
Tired of "sticker shock" when you open your bio waste invoice? Any reputable company should be able to clearly and simply explain how they handle rate increases. Vague, unclear explanations lead to unpleasant surprises down the road.
5. How responsive are you to service needs and questions?
No matter how good the service, situations crop up, and how the vendor handles these situations is important. Any reputable vendor should be able to answer questions and respond to service requests within one business day.
6. Do you have local references?
A lack of professional references is a huge red flag. Proceed with caution if these are not readily offered and available for your review and verification.
7. Do you require us to sign a contract?
Service contracts are necessary to protect your vendor, and provide you with peace of mind and proof of regulatory compliance. Any service contract should be clear, concise and easy to read. Rambling, confusing fine print can contain unpleasant surprises if and when issues arise. As the font shrinks, your concerns should grow.
8. If a contract is required, can we cancel?
A service contract should provide reciprocal assurances to both parties. It should NOT be a poor choice extended to a life sentence. Any reputable vendor should allow you to cancel a service contract if you are unsatisfied. Professionals retain your business by providing service and value, not contractual handcuffs.
9. Do you understand the laws and regulations for medical waste management, and can you help to keep us conpliant? How?
Biohazardous waste is controlled by a host of local, state and federal regulations. Professional vendors understand these regulations and how to protect your practice. If they can't quickly and concisely answer your questions, it's because they don't know, and they should.
10. Can you assist with special situations and regulatory (local, state and federal) compliance, like OSHA?
Bio waste handling/disposal and OSHA compliance go hand in hand. Reputable and professional vendors should provide OSHA resources and training assistance to get your practice compliant and keep it that way.
11. Will you perform an audit of our facility for compliance?
Your business is healthcare, and we understand that. A reputable vendor should be willing and able to provide a facility audit, and make meaningful recommendations for all safety, waste handling, recylcing and compliance issues. If you are not offered this, perhaps you are dealing with the wrong vendor?
12. Are your drivers fully trained, equipped and qualified for their duties?
Cut rate, part-time haulers and brokers are usually accompanied by ill-equipped, casually dressed and poorly trained drivers. Reputable vendors provide screened (drug and background), trained, uniformed, professional, licensed and knowledgeable route personnel. Who are you letting into your office and treatment areas? "Huh?" is not an acceptable answer when you have a question, or need assistance.
13. Do you carry all necessary permits and insurance to maintain compliance?
It takes more than a one-page medical waste hauler application to be qualified. Does your vendor possess ALL of the permits and insurance necessary for the job?These permits and insurance aren't critical until someone in authority asks, or something happens to YOUR waste...
14. Are you a locally-owned and operated company?
Large, national vendors do some things well, but service and responsiveness always suffer, and their dollars are often spent elsewhere, on their national service contracts. Local vendors provide the necessary local resources to maintain good service, and put your service dollars back into their local communities in their purchase of needed goods and services. Supporting your local vendors supports your local community.
For help with any or ALL of the questions above, contact MWS today!