THE BENEFITS OF SINGLE-USE DISPOSABLE MEDICAL INSTRUMENTS
Single use medical instruments are becoming increasingly popular and widely used, and the range available is growing year on year. They can be provided as single items or in procedure packs, so are a very flexible option. They match the quality of reusable instruments and offer a whole raft of additional benefits:
- Safety – nothing is safer than a new set of instruments for each patient
Medical instruments can very hard to clean between patients, and minimising the risk of cross infection represents a major challenge in today’s healthcare environment.
Disposing of instruments after each patient dramatically reduces these risks, preventing many instances of infection and saving lives. Simply open a new custom pack for each procedure, and you know you are using a completely new set of sterile instruments for each patient, free from the risk of cross infection.
Single use instruments also facilitate enhanced visibility and safety in the supply chain, as they are distributed with GS1 barcoded labels for product traceability.
- More Time-efficient – Why clean when you can replace?
CSSDs are needed for the cleaning and preparation of complex medical devices for which there is no single use alternative. Clogging them up by inundating skilled and busy staff with instruments that can easily be replaced by single use alternatives wastes time and money.
Disposable medical instruments can be put together in custom packs and delivered quickly, freeing up CSSDs to do the essential and specialised work they need to carry out.
- More Cost-efficient – just order what you need
Custom procedure packs contain everything needed for a procedure, including all consumables such as cotton wool, so you can chose the equipment that best suits your needs and budget. It also makes it easy to order multiple packs of instruments to handle high patient numbers, without putting pressure on the capital costs of buying new reusable equipment.
As well as eliminating the costs of re-sterilsation after use, there is much less wastage as you only order the items you need, so it’s better for the environment, too.
- Easy to Use – just use and throw away
When supplied in ready to use procedure packs, disposable medical instruments are easy to open and use, and contain exactly what is needed for each procedure. All single use medical instruments can be disposed of quickly.
The fact that each instrument is disposed of after use, whether supplied individually or as part of a procedure pack, also makes the single use option much more practical for visiting healthcare professionals as they do not need to be stored and taken back to a medical facility for sterilisation processing but can instead be safely put in a sharps bin.
Waste – Single use vs reusable
With all single use instruments the environmental impact of disposal is often questioned, as currently to comply with EU Directives on the disposal of medical waste they go for incineration and landfill.
However this has to be weighed up against the real effect of reusing items. A reusable instrument has to undergo the thorough decontamination regime which includes large amounts of water, detergent, steam, electricity etc. to prepare it for re-use. The impact on the environment of the use of these utilities and detergents during sterilisation has to be factored in equally when comparing the ecological effects of single use to reusable instruments.just use and throw away