Top Reasons to Switch to Single-Use Medical Devices
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration define single-use, or disposable, medical devices as those strictly intended for use on one patient during only one procedure. These tools should not be reprocessed and instead are properly disposed of immediately after use.
With Medicare penalizing health care facilities for hospital-acquired conditions, there is a renewed, industry-wide focus on implementing methods to reduce these risks. Using sterile, single-use medical supplies is a reliable option for ensuring all devices are decontaminated. They can protect patients from developing life-threatening infections from cross-contamination or unsafe conditions during medical procedures and treatment regimens.
When health care facilities switch from reusable to single-use medical devices, the benefits extend beyond protecting patients from HACs. To realize the value of disposable medical supplies, here are the top reasons to make the switch from reusable to single-use devices:
Improve Patient Safety
A major priority for the CDC is eliminating the avoidable health care-associated infections patients can develop while receiving medical services, which increases the need for safe, cost-effective tools. According to the CDC’s National and State Healthcare Associated Infections Progress Report, updated in 2016, rates of HAIs can decrease more than 70 percent when health care facilities and professionals are aware of infection issues and implement efforts to prevent them.
One method for reducing rates of HAIs is using single-use medical devices. They reduce the risk of HAIs, including common surgical site infections, and cross-contamination during medical procedures. Thus, these ready-to-use, disposable devices can alleviate surgeon and health care provider concerns over the cleanliness of their surgical tools. With reduced risk of cross-contamination and increased infection control, single-use devices can improve overall patient safety and quality of care.
Disposable medical devices relieve medical staff from the responsibility of properly cleaning, disinfecting and sterilizing instruments through extensive reprocessing cycles. When they arrive at the health care facility, single-use devices are ready for immediate use. And because they are disposed of after one use, hospital and medical practice staff do not have to spend time on decontamination or sterilization like they do for reusable devices. Plus, single-use devices are easily traceable and can eliminate the time spent tracking and accounting for reusable instruments.
With minimal preparation or post-procedure work, health care facilities can easily adhere to scheduling and avoid mishaps in medical procedures. Ultimately, single-use devices can significantly increase the facility’s efficiency.
Cut Down on Costs
While the upfront price of disposable supplies may be higher than reusable ones, providers can see significant long-term benefits. For instance, the initial savings on reusable tools can be offset by the outgoings associated with cross-contamination and infection complications. Plus, single-use devices eliminate the ongoing costs of reprocessing, which includes decontamination supplies, machine maintenance, utility use and employee time. With so many elements, it can be difficult to calculate the true costs of sterilizing and tracking reusable devices. Alternatively, single-use tools can simplify this process for health care providers.
Essentially, disposable supplies provide the same quality as reusable devices without the cost of upkeep. Over time, providers will likely see improved bottom line numbers after making the switch to single-use tools.
Reduce Environmental Impact
According to Practice Greenhealth’s Sustainability Report, hospitals in the U.S. create more than 4.67 million tons of waste every year. It’s easy to assume that disposable devices would contribute far more to this number than reusable devices, but the opposite is actually true. The utilities and disinfecting solutions used when reprocessing reusable devices result in a much higher environmental impact. Plus, providers may also have to consider transport to decontamination facilities and landfill disposal. With single-use devices, there is no waste from these extraneous steps.
Make the Switch
OBP Medical is the leading global developer of these ready-to-use, single-use medical devices. Plus, these single-use products have integrated LED light source for greater visibility and accuracy during procedures. Learn more about the available products, and request a free sample of a single-use anoscope, vaginal speculum, retractor or laryngoscope today.