The following is re-posted from ProtectOurSavings.com, a Stryker Sustainability Solutions-sponsored blog dedicated to advancing the discussion about efficient financial and environmental resource management.
Published by Caryn Humphrey, RN, BSN, MBA, Product Manager at Stryker Sustainability Solutions.
While some manufacturers have embraced reprocessing as a solution that healthcare organizations are seeking, some others might remain committed to a business model that promotes new devices and discourages reprocessing, which may inhibit cost savings in the healthcare industry. These days, even some of the most advanced surgical devices labeled “single use” are able to be safely and legally reprocessed, reducing O.R. waste and saving hospitals significant dollars.
Stryker Sustainability Solutions recently began reprocessing the Ligasure™ Impact (Hand Activated Sealer/Divider) device. Let’s consider the facts: the measures a third-party reprocessor must legally take to ensure safety and efficacy prior to releasing a reprocessed device on the market are lengthy, rigorous, and overseen by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The reprocessed Ligasure™ Impact (Hand Activated Sealer/Divider) device underwent several months of research, as well as validation and performance testing in order to obtain the 510(k) clearance that allows Stryker to legally reprocess and market the device. Stryker’s reprocessed Ligasure™ Impact (Hand Activated Sealer/Divider) device cost an average of 45% less than the average original manufacturer’s pricing, providing many healthcare organizations with substantial savings in their operating rooms.
Innovations in the SUD reprocessing industry are sometimes met with OM resistance. All businesses must protect their bottom lines, reward their sales reps, and continue investing in R&D to develop new technologies. However, in our current healthcare climate, vendors of healthcare products and services should be focused on delivering solutions that help their customers improve their ability to deliver high quality patient care. Purchasing power for supplies and services is shifting toward hospital administrators, who are demanding products that fit within budgetary constraints and align with organizational sustainability goals. Many physicians have embraced reprocessing as a pragmatic way to reduce their carbon footprint, as well as a measure to strengthen their employers’ operational performance without affecting the care they deliver to patients.
Attempts by certain manufacturers to lock reprocessors out of the market have become transparent to some customers, many of whom have embedded reprocessing into their cultures. Stryker understands the current healthcare climate and associated challenges and has adapted its business model to meet customer needs. As long as healthcare providers are asking for financially and environmentally sustainable products, Stryker and other third-party reprocessors will continue delivering them.