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Case Study

Pharmaceutical Waste Program Development

Situation

A healthcare network consisting of two hospitals was struggling to build internal pharmaceutical waste programs. Its current provider didn't have the attention of the nursing staff, which is fundamental to the success and sustainability of these programs.
 
Additionally, the healthcare network had two different vendors for hazardous and universal waste disposal, and both were controlled by different departments within the hospital. Management was frayed on both the front and back end. The network wanted to consolidate outsourced services to one provider with the authority to dispose of pharmaceutical, hazardous, and universal waste as well as to manage onsite generation.

The healthcare network chose Triumvirate Environmental, one of the pre-existing providers of hazardous waste management and disposal, to oversee the program’s implementation and ongoing success. 

Action

Our main focus when taking over management of the network’s waste was the development and installation of a pharmaceutical waste program to complement routine waste services. Here's what we did: 
  • The account management and operations team worked with the pharmacy director at each hospital to first characterize respective formularies.
  • Data was keyed into ADVISE™our proprietary software program.
  • The team used the software’s formulary module to export a list of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals that each hospital would be required to collect and dispose of to have a compliant program.
  • Our experts then conducted an onsite objective assessment of each hospital’s waste generation process to put together customized profiles and satellite accumulation areas (SAAs).
  • We compiled all of this information to develop a specialized program that would bring each hospital into full compliance with federal, state, and local regulations. 
  • Our operations team implemented this program by setting up containers and training pharmacy and nursing staff on the new procedure for pharmaceutical waste. This educational phase was crucial to the execution and sustainability of this program.
  • Floor by floor, we trained hundreds of employees to start utilizing the new pharmaceutical program. This personal training forged a relationship between our Triumvirate team and the nurses, giving internal staff members a point-person to direct questions to. 
  • We recognized the nursing staff’s focus on patient safety, and, as a result, brought the training process to them in order to maintain operational efficiency and avoid confusion and any potential breakdown in communication. 

Result

Triumvirate’s implementation of the new pharmaceutical waste program brought both of the network’s hospitals into regulatory compliance. In addition, the hospital’s consolidation of all waste under our management cut disposal and transportation costs and simplified the training and oversight of compliance programs. This clarified program requirements and resources for the key personnel at both hospitals. We have also implemented waste diversion initiatives at both hospitals to reduce costs by pushing waste into lower-cost waste streams while maintaining compliance. 
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