A Better Package for Loaners

06 Jul

Tears in the wrapper

Believe it or not many facilities are still wrapping instrument sets. A torn wrapped tray can be detrimental to the OR schedule and to patients. Recently, a customer informed us that a U.S. veteran was scheduled to have surgery. The patient commuted with his family several hours to the large metropolitan hospital where surgery was scheduled, taking time off work and paying for hotel accommodations in the area. After being prepped and ready for surgery, the surgical case was suddenly cancelled due to one thing: a torn blue wrapped loaner tray.

To wrap or containerize, that is the question...

Loaner instrument sets are inevitable at most facilities across the nation. No one facility can afford to purchase every type of specialty surgical set. Nonetheless, loaners present challenges to sterile processing departments – for example not having enough time to properly process or time to review new IFU's when delivered. Further all must be received, inspected and reprocessed upon delivery. Then decontaminated and counted upon return to the vendor.

Containers can stack; wrapped sets cannot

Many facilities still wrap loaner sets because they believe that they do not have another option. The thought being that containers may not be cost effective for sets that are not hospital property. Nevertheless, when you do a cost benefit analysis, containers prove economical over the long run. Based upon the frequency of use, containers can pay for themselves in less than three months. With that being said, loaners may be the best option for containerization as the same container can be used several times a week for various procedure trays coming in and out of the facility. And yes, you can stack them for storage and transport.

Managing loaner and consignment trays

Loaner equipment is usually handled begrudgingly, often creating challenges for the SPD department which must process them immediately so that the OR can receive them without delay. Some loaner trays now arrive in rigid reusable containers. Users see the advantage with quicker turns and reduced errors. A universal container system, manufactured by Case Medical, can be used with any device and sterilized in steam and low temperature sterilization making it particulaly advantageous for the user. Case Medical's DIN sized SteriTite® container, now with bar code labeling and instrument tracking, was originally designed over 25 years ago to solve the problem of loaner management.

Loaner, Loaner, Where Are You?

Case Medical has been a manufacturer of graphics trays for the past 30 years and was instrumental in moving the industry toward containerization to address the loaner dilemma. Let us share our experiences with you and provide some innovative solutions that you can apply at your facility. Select either an AM or PM session to register for today's program.

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