August 28, 2012
Francisco J. Pérez Gil, MD, Centro Cardiovascular Hospital San Lucas, Ponce, Puerto Rico
In an era of shrinking reimbursements from insurance companies and increasing costs, it’s becoming more important than ever to find innovative solutions to provide optimal patient care and remain profitable. In my experience as a cardiac physician, one of the most effective ways to foster patient safety while remaining fiscally sustainable is using a third-party reprocessor for single-use medical devices (SUDs).
My practice at the EP lab of Centro Cardiovascular Hospital San Lucas in Ponce, Puerto Rico has been running a successful SUD reprocessing program since opening in 2008. In 2011, the lab saved more than $152,000 through reprocessing, and is on track to increase savings for 2012 — all with no adverse impact on patient care.
I began using reprocessed EP catheters during my residency at the University of Maryland and continued using them while practicing at Virginia Commonwealth University. My experiences working with leading physicians showed me the two-fold benefit of using a third-party reprocessor: the devices are as reliable and as safe as those of original manufacturers (OMs), at approximately half the cost.
As a physician, what made me believe in reprocessing was the strict regulatory guidelines requiring FDA 510(k) clearance to assure devices are substantially equivalent to OM devices. I am uncompromising in my dedication to patient safety, and reprocessed SUDs have always supported my vision for delivering top-quality care in the most sustainable way. Johns Hopkins researchers recommend that reprocessed devices have a reliable safety record of excellence similar to that of new equipment…1,2