Focus on Long-term Care FacilitiesDid you know that long-term care facilities are some of the biggest producers of drug waste? This high volume comes from the populations they treat. Patients with comorbidities require more medication that is likely considered “hazardous”—equating into more hazardous waste. While some wastes may be hazardous or non-hazardous by EPA regulations, it is important to understand what is being generated and what regulations both at a federal and state level apply. Additionally, facilities should be assessing how they are managing controlled substances based on the DEA regulations which came out in autumn 2014.
With 78 million baby boomers expected to live longer, many with chronic conditions, this amount of hazardous waste is only going to increase. In order to address this issue, long-term care facilities need to develop and prioritize their drug disposal programs now. In our recent McKnight’s Long-Term Care News article, Jennifer Maniscalco discusses the importance of hazardous drug disposal programs in the long-term care space and the implications of not having such a program in place. Additionally, the article offers a few tips and tricks for long-term care facilities looking to build and bolster their hazardous drug disposal programs. For instance, start looking at what drugs you’re dealing with to get a baseline. From there, you can train staff accordingly based on the drugs you have to dispose of. Learn more about how Stericycle can help support your long-term care facility’s hazardous drug disposal efforts.