How Much Does It Cost to Reprocess Medical Devices?
Medical device reprocessing seems like a best practice for reusing surgical instruments and other medical devices, but medical professionals are still left wondering how much does it cost to reprocess surgical equipment? Remington Medical has the answer.
The Truth About Medical Device Reprocessing
Operating rooms (OR) accumulate a large amount of medical waste due to surgeons performing multiple surgeries per day that require a wide range of medical instruments. In fact, from 1992 to 2012, the number of surgeries performed in the United States increased by 17%, according to the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project.
Due to the high demand for surgical instruments, the reprocessing of reusable medical devices is becoming obsolete. Healthcare facilities and hospitals realize that the sterilization process for reprocessed medical instruments is not as cost-effective as using disposable medical equipment.
A study released by Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego states that device reprocessing, including maintenance, packaging, labor, and high-level disinfection, costs approximately $0.51 to $0.77 per instrument, finding that only 13% to 21.9% of opened instruments are ultimately used. When reusable medical equipment is opened for a surgical procedure, all instruments are “exposed” and must be decontaminated, re-assembled, and sterilized, regardless of whether the instruments were used.
Types of Reusable Medical Equipment Packaging
There are two common types of reusable medical equipment packaging for sterilization: instrument trays and peel packs. Instrument trays, or transfer trays, help protect the integrity of the disinfection or sterilization wrap. Specifically designed to alleviate the possibility of tears, instrument trays must be decontaminated and reassembled, along with the reusable medical equipment, as a part of medical device reprocessing.
Peel packs, paper-plastic or plastic pouches, are frequently used for packaging small, lightweight, reusable medical equipment. There are various sizes of peel packs to choose from, and some packs come with a sticky strip that folds over to form a seal after the instrument is placed inside. There is currently no study on the best practices for reusing peel packs, making them a costly, single-use medical package option.
The average cost of medical device reprocessing for one instrument was $0.34 to $0.47 in a tray and $0.81 to $0.84 for an instrument in a peel pack, according to another study released by the Journal of Hospital Administration.
Disposable medical devices ensure that cross-contamination is never an issue in the OR. When a single-use device arrives at a medical facility, it’s undergone the sterilization process before shipment, saving the medical center time and money.
Once reusable medical equipment is used, sterilized, and put into storage until reuse, its level of disinfection isn’t traceable, making it impossible to determine the risk of infection if it’s reused. However, disposable medical equipment ensures full sterilization traceability.
Reusable medical equipment that’s lost, stolen, or broken takes a significant amount of money to replace, reducing any healthcare facility’s bottom line. Disposable medical supplies allow for tracking and ensure there’s no overflow of one specific device, reducing the risk of tying up capital.
Developing best practices to decrease the risk of infection is a high priority in the medical field. That’s why leading healthcare facilities in the United States turn to disposable medical equipment, eliminating the risk of cross-contamination between patients.
As the previous study showed, utilizing single-use medical equipment eliminates medical device reprocessing costs and labor costs.
Contrary to popular belief, disposable medical equipment poses less of an environmental risk than reprocessed medical devices due to a large amount of water, energy, detergent, and steam that’s used for medical device reprocessing.
Quality, Innovative Disposable Medical Equipment
Remington Medical is committed to quality and innovation, providing leading hospitals and medical facilities with top-of-the-line disposable medical equipment for general surgery procedures, medical cables, medical supply devices, vascular supplies, and medical needles and guides. We help facilities keep their bottom line by avoiding medical device reprocessing entirely, eliminating costs and cross-contamination, and reducing the risk of infection.
Remington is dedicated to manufacturing disposable medical equipment, so doctors can ensure patient comfort and save money. We privately label our products or design them from conception, working alongside doctors and leading facilities to create high-quality, innovative products. Contact us today to learn more about our disposable medical equipment.