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Compliance Articles

Training Your Hazardous Waste Personnel Must Take

Kevin Webber - Aug 3, 2018 8:15:00 AM

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established a comprehensive regulatory program in 1976 to ensure that hazardous waste is managed correctly from the time it is created, through transport, treatment, storage, and until it is disposed. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) provides the framework for hazardous waste management and qualified states are authorized to administer and enforce the RCRA program within the state.

It’s important that you manage your hazardous waste in accordance with all state and federal regulations. The degree of regulation that applies is dependent on the amount of waste you produce; however, anyone who generates, accumulates, stores, transports, or treats hazardous waste must receive training. When rules change, updated training should be provided. Your hazardous waste personnel are required to complete appropriate training to become familiar with proper hazardous waste management as well as emergency procedures for wastes handled at your facility.

Topics: Compliance- OSHA- Hazardous Waste

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Five Steps to Properly Identifying Hazardous Waste

Kevin Webber - Jul 19, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Hazardous waste disposal is one of the most important factors when it comes to handling your regulated waste. Because of the “cradle to grave” legal framework that applies to regulated waste, your facility is responsible for the hazardous materials it produces from the moment they enter your possession to the moment they’re properly disposed of.

On a state level, even simple bureaucratic mistakes can lead to hefty fines, like this South Carolina health provider that was fined $28,000 for failing to properly label and organize its hazardous waste. Larger organizations can easily make themselves vulnerable to much steeper penalties, as in the case of Home Depot, whose California facilities were fined nearly $28 million by state and local authorities for sending regulated hazardous waste to standard landfills.

Topics: Compliance- Hazardous Waste

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Three Common Waste Handling Mistakes in Medical Offices

Kevin Webber - Jul 6, 2018 9:46:05 AM

Managing medical waste is not for the faint of heart . . . and neither is managing a medical office. Your facility’s staff must adhere to strict, sometimes time-consuming medical waste guidelines and regulations while providing the highest level of patient care. You must protect the health of your patients, your employees, and on a larger scale, the community-at-large and the environment. Following best practices in health care delivery, medical waste management, and medical office management can streamline processes and help ensure the best delivery of service in each area.

However, no matter how well your staff follows processes and procedures, mistakes will be made. Handling medical waste can be confusing and your medical office is a fast-paced environment. To help, we’ve compiled a list of common medical office mistakes related to compliance for you to keep as a handy reference. Perhaps sharing these with your staff can jumpstart some helpful conversations related to compliance issues.

Topics: Compliance- Medical Waste- Waste Handling

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What Your Medical Waste Service Provider Could Be Missing

Kevin Webber - Jun 29, 2018 8:29:42 AM

Hiring a medical waste service provider doesn’t mean you can surrender responsibility for how your waste is handled. Your medical facility is responsible for its medical waste from the moment it’s generated until the moment it’s rendered harmless and can be recycled or thrown away. Any incident with your medical waste is your organization’s responsibility, even when you’ve contracted with a fully permitted waste service provider. They can make mistakes that result in penalties and fines for your practice.

Topics: Compliance- Medical Waste- Mishandled

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What Could Happen Without Compliance Training

Kevin Webber - Jun 22, 2018 11:38:30 AM

As a medical waste generator, you are responsible and liable for the transportation, treatment, and disposal of hazardous and regulated medical waste. It can be a complicated process, and there should be no gaps in your processes and procedures in order to keep things running smoothly and maintain compliance. Even if you are a small quantity generator, you still have to comply or face potential penalties.

Topics: Compliance

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Three Common Mistakes in Segregating Waste

Kevin Webber - Jun 15, 2018 11:34:29 AM

Things are running smoothly at your medical practice since you’ve conducted compliance training and among other training requirements, your employees know how to correctly categorize and segregate medical waste. However, handling medical waste can be confusing and mistakes can still happen. In fact, some regulations regarding medical waste can be confusing for even the most conscientious employee. We’re sharing a few of the most common mistakes made when separating waste streams. 

Topics: Compliance- Medical Waste- Waste Handling

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Three Types of PHI That Should Be Destroyed

Kevin Webber - Jun 8, 2018 3:35:32 PM

Protected Health Information (PHI) is any data that contains a patient’s name or could be combined with other information to determine the patient’s identity. It is your responsibility to ensure that PHI is not open to theft or even simple exposure, by following the guidelines set forth by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

Topics: Compliance- PHI- HIPAA

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Top 5 Ways to Protect Your Medical Office's PHI

Kevin Webber - Jun 1, 2018 9:52:42 AM

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) defines protected health information (PHI) as any data that contains a patient’s name or could be combined with other information to determine the patient’s identity.

The PHI category includes most direct patient records, but also includes other records related to demographic information and general patient data, even when that data has been anonymized.

The original HIPAA legislation has been amended by multiple regulations issued in subsequent years, and your office must adhere to each requirement outlined in the Combined Regulation Text.

Topics: Compliance- PHI

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Preparing Medical Waste: What Goes in the Yellow Bin

Kevin Webber - May 25, 2018 2:30:00 PM

Your medical practice staff should know exactly what kinds of medical waste your practice produces and how to properly collect and prepare it for storage and transport. Chemotherapy waste disposal must be carefully managed in order to protect your employees, patients, and community. Chemotherapy can use highly toxic drugs and generates some of the most hazardous medical waste. If disposed of incorrectly, this type of pharmaceutical waste can present the biggest risk to human health and the environment. Knowing what goes in the yellow bin will help ensure proper bulk and trace chemotherapy waste handling.

Topics: Compliance- Medical Waste

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Preparing Medical Waste: What Goes in the Blue Bin

Kevin Webber - May 18, 2018 3:42:51 PM

Your main focus is patient care and making sure things run smoothly in your medical facility to facilitate the highest level of care for your patients. You and your staff need everyday processes and procedures standardized and simplified as much as possible in order to focus on patient care. We’re doing this series of articles to help you prepare your medical waste for pickup and transport. Of course, partnering with a fully certified and permitted medical waste services provider can help you make sure that your practice’s regulated medical waste is handled correctly.

Topics: Compliance- Medical Waste

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