Sustainability Strategies at Piedmont Hospital: 10 Years of Reprocessing Success in the EP Lab
- Volume 11 - Issue 10 - October 2011
- Posted on: 9/26/11
- 0 Comments
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- Do research, stay educated. Learn to separate fact from misinformation or personal impressions when it comes to reprocessing. Work with your reprocessing rep to arrange a tour of a reprocessing facility, and open dialogue with others who have taken advantage of savings opportunities through reprocessing programs. Though third-party medical device reprocessing is subject to strict FDA regulatory guidelines, it is not uncommon to encounter the belief that reprocessing refers to in-house sterilization or cleaning. Get the facts to help set the record straight — the savings potential is too great to be offset by inaccuracies.
- Staff education. In 2001, Piedmont restructured its education program so that oncoming staff members receive specific EP training, in addition to basic orientation, to ensure awareness of how reprocessing fits into the operations of the lab. By working closely with Piedmont’s reprocessing vendor, Stryker Sustainability Solutions (then Ascent), EP lab staff learn which devices can be reprocessed, including the ins and outs of collections logistics, and undergo comprehensive in-service training.
- Open communication with reprocessing vendor. It’s imperative to work closely with your reprocessing vendor to constantly refine and improve processes. Piedmont works in partnership with our reprocessing rep to ensure each potential savings opportunity is maximized as well as to review any obstacles or challenges with the program. An open line of communication is critical to every successful reprocessing program.
- Open communication with staff. It is equally critical to maintain open communication about the benefits of reprocessing with staff. When the staff is aware of the overall fiscal picture and what goals you are trying to reach, they will understand how reprocessing enables essential savings that are redirected to patient care initiatives, such as the purchase of new equipment.
- Pull reprocessed catheters first. Successful reprocessing programs depend on a seamless process and convenient operations. Piedmont and its reprocessing vendor worked together to integrate reprocessed and remanufactured single-use devices into the facility’s inventory management system. To make the integration complete and effective, staff are trained to pull reprocessed catheters first and to keep an open line of communication with physicians about what they are doing and why. Pulling reprocessed catheters first is a simple yet critical factor to maximizing the savings potential of a reprocessing program. Reprocessed diagnostic catheters are becoming increasingly common — in 2010, a medical technology market intelligence group forecasted 15 percent growth in this category through 2014.