Alon Lerner

Alon Lerner

Wednesday, 17 March 2021 14:08

The latest research on Covid-19 risks

Avoidable risk and where we go from here

 

We recently marked the one year anniversary of the declaration of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the time where many of us learned a new set of considerations for health and Risk metersocial interactions, along with a novel vocabulary to match. Whether you hit that socially distanced outdoor gathering or opt for a Zoom happy hour, our activities and behaviors are very different than those we knew before.

While we’re careful to maintain the vigilance required to prevent another resurgence, we now know more about the greatest exposure risks, based on new research data. Learn about the factors that increase risk and the scenarios you want to avoid until herd immunity is achieved, even if you have already been vaccinated.

Where we are now

According to the New York Times coronavirus tracker, cases are beginning to trend down in the US, back to levels seen last fall, though many are still ill, and deaths continue.

  On March 15 14 day change
New cases 57,083 -18% 
New deaths 751 -32%

 

 Vaccine and virus illustrationMillions more Americans can now get Covid-19 vaccines, including teachers, with 12% of the US population now fully vaccinated, and 21% of the population having received one dose. As noted by the CDC, those who are fully vaccinated should continue to take precautions when in public, with limited easing of protocols around other fully vaccinated individuals. Globally, more than 300 million doses have been given out in nearly 100 countries. This is stunning progress against a disease we hardly knew anything about only one year ago.

Indoor crowds

Though not entirely new information, the high risk of being indoors with a crowd is now supported by research. The spaces where people congregate, particularly crowded indoor spaces with poor ventilation—think restaurants, cafes and gyms—are transmission hotspots. These tend to be smaller, more densely occupied, and visited for longer, thus is one study, ten per cent of the locations accounted for 80% of predicted infections.

“Superspreading” events

Network sketch representing a superspreaderOne study of the early transmission patterns in China showed 15% of infected individuals cause 80% of the spread. In another study of five superspreading events, the person most likely to have infected others was either mildly symptomatic or had not yet developed symptoms. This is a key similarity between the superspreading events. “Just because you feel well doesn’t mean that you’re not infected and potentially spreading,” noted the author.

New variants

Smart phone how contagious is the Coronavirus

 New variants of SARS-CoV-2 that first attracted attention in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil could make superspreading worse. On the basis of a reported 50% higher transmission rate in a variant called B.1.1.7, there will likely be an increase in both the frequency and size of superspreading events. Models suggest that quickly identifying super-spreader events and notifying attendees can have an oversized effect on controlling transmission.

Until we reach herd immunity

2.8.24oz Aloe E HanSan Spray Cap CutoutUntil we have the protection granted by vaccination, by herd immunity, generally understood to be about 80% of the population having had Covid-19 and/or been vaccinated, we need to continue practicing safe behaviors.

At Case Medical we manufacture products for infection prevention. While most of you are familiar with our SteriTite® universal sterilization containers, we also manufacture cleaning solutions, wipes, alcohol-based products for sanitizing and disinfection, and have lots of face shields available (at a deeply discounted rate!) for your needs. All these products, as well as our hand sanitizer, are manufactured right here in NJ, USA.
Case Solutions® Hand Sanitizer with Aloe and Vitamin E is readily available in 2 oz., 8 oz., and 24 oz. bottles. Masking, hand washing or hand sanitizer, and physical distancing are as important as ever. Be safe and stay well!

 

You'll wonder how you managed without this tool

 

Instrument processing is not a linear process. It is a circle that starts and ends with safe-to-use, complete, well organized instrument sets for surgical and patient care procedures. In recognition of this fact, Case Medical long ago committed itself to a 360° instrument processing approach. In practical terms that means that Case Medical not Series of arrows indicating a cycleonly provides products for every phase of the process; it also means the products were designed as a system that makes it easier to sustain quality and continuity throughout the cycle.

Successful processes require more than quality products; you need to manage and document the process, to control and manage your outcomes. With the rapidly increasing complexity of instrument processing, an easy-to-use tracking system is a priceless tool to ensure your department’s efficiency, accuracy, and quality.

A tracking system that meets your needs

When you evaluate tracking systems, it helps to first determine your needs and the major pain points you want to address. Consider your workflow, your process for loaner sets, storage areas and constraints, staffing, and certainly review any existing software you may already use. Make a list of “must have” features and processes that may be unique to your facility or system. Make sure the software company you consider can adapt to your needs; many out there expect you to adapt to their system.

360Dashboard-295x300Case Medical’s CaseTrak360® Instrument Tracking Software was designed to scale and flex and meet you where you are. Are you looking for an SPD-only implementation until the OR sees proof of effectiveness or need? No problem. Do you need to start with one facility at a time before rolling out to your entire system? That works, too.  If you are considering a system-wide implementation, might your system administrator require a bird’s eye view? We can do that.

Usability

Usability starts with a user-friendly design— the software should be intuitive and easy to learn, well organized, with navigation that makes sense, even to a new user. Beyond that, look for smart visual cues like color coding, distinct icons for important information, photos, and reminders and references to help keep your department on track.

Case Medical’s CaseTrak360 software is designed to mirror the stages in the surgical instrument reprocessing workflow, with a color-coded, intuitive user interface to speed the tracking process. Built-in work instructions with photos provide an easy reference to proper procedures, including prompts and alerts. Decontam, Prep & Pack, and Sterilization sections each feature a master work queue with data visualization that automatically prioritizes and identifies turnarounds and loaner sets to ensure critical sets are processed first. 

Real-time, actionable information

For administrative and manager functions, you need real-time, actionable information to stay on top of the process. A dashboard with key information like turnarounds, loaner set status, or messages from the OR keep you plugged in and focused on your priorities.

View of the CaseTrak360 Dashboard

Here is where CaseTrak360® software really shines. In the Dashboard View, you can see real-time set locations, so when you get that call from the OR, you can assure them that the specialty set is heading their way as you speak. Easily track user competencies, find out which instruments are out for repair, or add a new instrument set and reprocessing instructions. CaseTrak360 puts you in control and in the know!

Interested in learning more?

Just say the word and we’ll assess your needs, help you build your custom database, and determine the number and location for workstations. Join us for our next webinar on March 24 at 2:00 pm Eastern to learn more and see the CaseTrak360 system in action. Additional dates are listed, as well.

 

Wednesday, 03 March 2021 13:01

Is there a sterilization wrap shortage?

Reduce supply chain worries with reusable containers

 

In 2020, Case Medical faced shortages of raw materials, canisters to package our infection prevention products, and even disposable wipe materials. We learned that we needed options, alternative sources of supply, and even new equipment. We decided to invest in a wet wipe machine and filter cutting equipment so we could better meet needs within the healthcare industry.

Blue wrapped sets on a shelfRecently, we spotted some Facebook chatter about facilities having trouble getting various sizes of sterilization wrap. This is similar (and related) to other supply chain challenges that have arisen throughout the pandemic, especially with masks, respirators, wipes, and surgical gowns. Though your wrap orders may be filled at 80% allocation, running 80% of surgeries IS NOT an option. Fortunately, Case Medical offers you an option—with universally compatible, reusable sterilization containers.

The right time to start is now

Sealed container systems are commonly known to save time and money, though some are concerned about taking on a large conversion project. You can keep your department and the OR running smoothly, without depending on your wrap supplier, and it’s not as overwhelming as you may think. Some commenters on Facebook had the same idea.

“Yes it would be a good time to switch to sterilization containers. Better for the earth too.. less trash.”

“Put as many things in pans as you can to save on [wrap]”

SteriTite container for loaner set drop inWhen transitioning from sterilization wrap to containers, many of our customers start small. For instance, some facilities allocate a certain percentage of their wrap budget to invest in containers. Others focus on their loaners, finding it much easier to manage loaner sets by dropping them into containers. Containerizing loaners eliminates surgical delays when staff find wet packs or holes or tears in wrap that require reprocessing. Either way, we can help you create a plan that works for your budget and your workflow.

Trim healthcare waste and spend

Reduce healthcare wasteAs an added bonus, moving to more sterilization containers will reduce waste. According to one source, the healthcare industry discards 255 million pounds of blue wrap each year. But it’s not just an environmental win, because waste is costly, too. Many people we speak to are surprised at how quickly a container purchase can reach ROI and begin to save your department money. For instance, one facility’s purchase of 224 sterilization containers saved their hospital ~$100,000 annually.

For additional assurance that you can continue processing sets, even in the event of a shortage of nonwoven materials, consider keeping some FlashTite® filter-less valve plates on hand. Yes, your existing SteriTite filtered container can convert easily to a reusable valve system. SteriTite containers, when fitted with FlashTite valve plates, are 510k cleared for steam IUSS cycles. Give them three minutes of dry time and the contents are virtually dry and safe for use and transport. FlashTite valves provide you with the alternative you may be looking for when wrap or even filters are in short supply. 

Made in America

Case Medical is a US manufacturer of quality products for sterile processing and infection prevention. In pre-pandemic times, most healthcare purchasers didn’t consider where Logistics and Supply Chaintheir products were made. With supply chain challenges, more companies are looking for US-based suppliers to increase reliability and decrease delivery time. The US government, including the VA Health System, actively seeks products that are made in the USA.

USAGet in touch with your Procurement or Logistics contact to understand the policies and considerations in your facility. If you are looking to increase sourcing from the US, know that all Case Medical products are manufactured in our FDA-registered, ISO-certified facility in Bloomfield, NJ.

Get started

now-1272358_1280If you want to talk with someone about how your department can get started with a phased transition from wrap to containers, please send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact your local Case Medical representative.

 

Three best practices you can implement right now

 

The federal government has penalized 774 hospitals for having the highest rates of patient infections or other potentially avoidable medical complications. The patient Loss chart over picture of MRSA bacteriasafety penalties cost hospitals 1 percent of Medicare payments over the federal fiscal year (Oct to Sept). These penalties come under the Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program, a program that attracts criticism from some hospital leaders.

Whatever your thoughts on the program, setting improvement goals is a big part of driving change. Measuring where you are, setting a goal, and making a step-by-step plan for how to achieve it can help you take control of—and improve—any situation you face.

Infection prevention

Illustration circle and line through germOn any given day, one in every 31 hospital patients has an infection that was contracted during their stay. Infections and other complications can prolong hospital stays, complicate treatments and, in the worst instances, kill patients.

Although sterile processing personnel may never see these patients, we know they’re always on your mind. Infection prevention depends upon maintaining consistently high standards of practice, requiring you to perform each task as intended each time, which drives predictable results. How does your facility measure up on these best practices?

    1. Consistent, effective pretreatment at point-of-use – When instruments arrive in your department, are they jumbled and covered in blood and other soil? Or are they rinsed clean with an effective pretreatment applied? Work with your perioperative teams to select an effective pretreatment that makes decontamination faster and easier. Measure how much time you can shave off your decontamination process with a U.S. EPA Safer Choice labelled pretreatment that starts cleaning for you.
      Point-of-use treatment with PentaPrep Multi-Enzymatic Spray - Case Medical (1)
    2. Rigid containers for loaner sets – Loaner sets can take an outsized amount of staff time and cause real disruption when holes are discovered in sterilization wrap. Facilities often process two full loaner sets to have backup for that inevitable moment. Now you can avoid doing double work and save reprocessing time and money!

      Transition to SteriTite® rigid containers, especially for those bulky Ortho/Spine sets, and you don’t have to worry about OR delays. Shift just a small portion of your wrap budget to begin building a stable of rigid containers for loaners—so you can drop-in and go, eliminating both wrapping time and delays due to holes in wrapped sets. After all, Case Medical manufactures the world’s only universal sealed container designed for loaners and made in the USA.
      SteriTite container for loaner set drop in

    3. Clear, permanent biohazard indicators for case carts – OSHA and AAMI call for soiled instruments to be clearly labeled as biohazard when transported from a surgical or procedure location to decontamination. Stop fussing with the waste and unreliability of paper signs attached to case carts or in plastic pockets.

      SteriTite® Disposition Monitors are long-lasting, reusable monitors that easily mount on the outside of any case cart to show healthcare staff whether the contents inside are soiled or clean and ready to go to the next procedure room. Compliance is a matter of staff safety and required by law; disposition monitors can help you achieve 100% compliance. Now available with an easy to assemble mounting plate for open case carts (upon request).
      SteriTite Disposition Monitor for open or closed case carts

Where will you start?

Register now Maintenance for Optimal Operating Conditions CE webinarThere is no time like the present to set goals for better sterile processing performance and optimal patient outcomes. What are your goals for this quarter or this year? We can help with validated products, and services such as assessments, evaluations, education, and help with data analytics to meet quality metrics. We can help you, too. Contact us today at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Register now for our next webinar “Maintenance for Optimal Operating Efficiency” March 4 at 11am EST. Learn how to transition to a paperless maintenance plan for continuous improvement and accountability.

 

Wednesday, 26 May 2021 13:41

The Paperless Project from Factory to SPD

What we learned during the pandemic

As a manufacturer of reusable devices, we learned that real-time information, about process and product, is critical for operations. Recently we developed a digital asset management and maintenance software program that has Cogs wht bdrincreased efficiencies, held staff accountable, and provided reports for managing our operations. This process was accelerated during the pandemic when we realized that critical supplies may not be readily accessible and the need for specific items required analysis for proper planning and production.

Going paperless has numerous advantages, aside from saving trees.

Paperless systems ensure every person involved in a process has up-to-date information. Management has a better sense of process flow. Similarly, important to the smooth functioning of central sterile is infection prevention.

Make no mistake, paper is wonderful stuff, it lasts a long time, centuries or longer, it’s easy to use, doesn’t require special equipment outside of a pencil or pen, can’t be hacked, and recycles easily. However, it is also heavy, takes up lots of storage space, and is flammable.

In 2020, we learned that paper is also a vector for disease transmission. It can get soiled when handling and lost unless it is in a binder or, better yet, digitized. Healthcare is progressing at a fast-moving pace that places a premium on getting work done, faster, cheaper, and having information immediately available. Further, usage reports of critical items, are especially important during a pandemic when supply chains are interrupted.

CaseTrak360 Software

CaseTrak360® is our product for helping

healthcare operations go paperless.

CaseTrak360® was developed with the help of our clinical specialists and our experience of process management in our manufacturing facility. Interesting fact: Case Medical uses a system programmed by our own developers to track and manage the status of product manufacturing from raw materials and component parts all the way to finished SteriTite® containers, Instrument Chemistries, and Case Carts.

Adopting a paperless system in the SPD offers so many advantages:

  • Search in real-time for set locations, schedule updates, and information.

  • Keep count sheets and surgeon preference cards up to date and available to better meet OR requirements.

  • Real-time reports to manage inventory and keep ahead of the demand curve.

  • Access instructions to avoid errors when processing complex devices.

  • Direct links to manufacturer’s validated reprocessing instructions.

  • Reports which track and trace instrument trays to patient care procedures for infection prevention, efficiencies, and productivity.

Let’s not lose sight of our suggestions about shortages:

Moving to a paperless system can give insights into supply usage and allow for informed decisions when considering: “Another strategy for avoiding a shortage … is planned buying. When a vendor knows they can count on a particular customer to make regular purchases of certain items it creates a situation that is beneficial for all. The buyer is a preferred customer at the top of the list when it comes to getting their purchases, and the vendor can plan into the future knowing that the demand is there.”

Join us on June 3, 2021, for our latest educational presentation

PaperlessUsing Digital Systems for a Paperless SPD

So yes, we can all feel good that “No trees were harmed…”, but there are so many other benefits to making the move to a paperless management system. Consider online shopping during the pandemic. Telemedicine to avoid lengthy trips for routine medical visits. And the use of asset management software that is truly paperless.

Please contact us for a CaseTrak360® demo and remember to register for our next online educational program, Paperless SPD.

 

Wednesday, 19 May 2021 12:51

The Problem with Water Softeners

The Problem with Water Softeners

HOW WATER SOFTENERS WORK AND WHY THEY FAIL IN THE SPD

All water is not created equally on whitePer USGS, Nearly 85% of the U.S. is a hard water area.”

And water treatment companies are actively promoting water softeners to SPD.

Water softeners work through a process called ion exchange, a typical water-softening system removes calcium and magnesium ions from hard water and replaces them with sodium ions. Filtration solely removes and does not add anything to the water. Water softening adds stuff you may not want. While water softeners may remove mineral ions, they do not remove contaminants such as bacteria or heavy metals like lead, mercury, or even iron.

RO Water System on whiteRemember, RO and DI water systems are currently available for treating water used for instrument processing. These systems use filtration or resin instead of salt. Then, why add a water softener as recommended by some suppliers? On a personal note, should we drink softened water or even shower with it? Did you ever feel the slimy residue on your skin after bathing? Consider the effect on your valuable instrumentation.

Is any sodium in water a benefit?

Softening “adds about 750 milligrams of sodium to each gallon of water,” * effectively turning tap water into saline solution. The amount of sodium added by a water No Saltsoftener is linearly related to the number of hardness minerals being reduced. For every milligram of hardness in the water, the softener releases two milligrams of sodium.

                *Ref. Scientific American - Chuck Wight, a chemistry professor at the University of Utah, September 24, 2001

Should Water Softeners Be Used for Instrument Processing?

We do not think so. Water softeners can contribute to corrosion. Saline and hydrogen peroxide applied to metal causes a rusty surface sometimes valued as a patina to make the new metal into aged-looking pieces of art. That may be desirable if you want to put a patina on a metal object as a garden feature or a work of art. However, a rusty patina or corrosion on surgical devices has no place in the SPD or the OR.

If you would like to experiment at home, visit this website to experience this process firsthand.

Instructables.com - How-to-Turn-Metal-Rusty

Strong Chlorides Cause Pitting Corrosion in Stainless Steel and Aluminum
Before Rusting

Many types of stainless-steel alloys will suffer extreme pitting corrosion when exposed to environments that are rich in salt. Most surgical devices undergo a passivation process to render the material non-corrosive. Exposure to salt accelerates or directly contributes to corrosion.

Case Medical, a manufacturer of sealed containers

After ALT

We have learned a thing or two about how metals can rust. We’ve learned how the combination of saline residue from water softeners followed by hydrogen peroxide sterilization can corrode our products. We strongly advise that when you process instruments and any aluminum container you find a better water source, most importantly for low temperature sterilization.


In conclusion, water filtration is a better choice. Reverse osmosis which pushes water through a membrane eliminating dissolved solids, salts, and even microorganisms from the water contributes to better outcomes. That is why Case Medical offers RO water systems for the highest quality critical water available for instrument processing.

To learn more about safe and effective water treatment options from Case Medical contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or CLICK HERE for more information.


Please join us on June 3rd and earn FREE CE credits while learning about

Using Digital Systems for a Paperless SPD

Brought to you by Case Medical

REGISTER

We've learned to wear masks, wash our hands frequently, and accept six feet of distance from others as the new normal. Then there’s hand sanitizers, sanitizing surfaces, and shortages. And, now getting vaccinated to end the pandemic and get back to normalcy.

With that being said, Case Medical is a medical device manufacturer specializing in products for infection prevention. We’ve learned a thing or two that may be helpful as we ride out the COVID19 storm together and carry these lessons forward against future disasters. The next few blog posts will focus on specific aspects of what we’ve learned during the pandemic and how these lessons can help build a better, safer, and healthier tomorrow.

COVID19 has certainly made us aware of the importance of preparedness. A year ago, would anyone have thought that N95 masks and PPE would be in short supply, that distillers would be making hand sanitizer, and after little more than a year there would be multiple vaccines for COVID19?

This week let’s look at: Being Prepared for shortages, as they’re inconvenient, stressful, and expensive. There are ways to lessen their impact and make things better even after the shortage ends. Typical reactions to shortages often make the situation worse; planning and thinking outside the box are keys to success. Panic buying and hoarding are expensive, and deplete available supplies making a bad situation worse especially for those who don’t have the money, storage capacity, or advantage to plan in advance.

PPE Demand Is Creating Blue Wrap Shortages

Let’s start with the idea that during a pandemic the need for supplies can become critical. This is currently the situation where sets needed for patient care procedures are impacted because of wrap shortages. Consider trading blue wrap for SteriTite® containers, since global demand for PPE is here to stay. Switching to rigid, reusable containers reduces the need for blue wrap, helping to keep resources where they’re needed most. As many wrap manufacturers answer the call and turn resources to the manufacture of critical PPE, many healthcare facilities are seeing a shortage of blue wrap. Are you experiencing gaps in supply? If so, now might be the right time to switch to SteriTite® containers and help take the pressure off the strained PPE market.

Avoiding Panic Buying and Hoarding 

Another strategy for avoiding a shortage altogether is planned buying. When a vendor knows they can count on a particular customer to make regular purchases of certain items it creates a situation that is beneficial for all. The buyer is a preferred customer at the top of the list when it comes to getting their purchases, and the vendor can plan into the future knowing that the demand is there.

Auto Buy Program

Become a preferred customer in Case Medical’s planned buying program, you’ll get a 5% discount on our Consumable Kits and credit toward other necessary supplies when you subscribe to our bi-annual purchase plan. You’ll receive a fresh monthly shipment of our Filters, Seals, and Load Cards, or we can create a custom Consumables Kit of cleaners, brushes, or tamper-evident seals so long as you’re buying a combination of Filters, Seals, and Load Cards. You’ll avoid future shortage situations, always have fresh consumables on hand, and avoid storing large quantities of consumables in advance of actual need.

These are just a couple of ways planning and taking preventive action can help avoid future shortage situations, lessen the environmental impact of disposing of used blue wrap, and save valuable storage space in your facility.

Using Time Wisely

In future we’ll talk about: Ways that hospitals can improve operations by using online paper-less software systems for record-keeping and to maximize efficiencies:

  1. Allow techs to earn CE credits while adding to their subject knowledge. Case Medical offers many opportunities to learn and earn CE credits.
  2. Implement a software solution like CaseTrak360® for tracking and managing the inventory of instrument sets and supplies.
  3. Inspect, manage preventive maintenance, and clean equipment with US EPA Safer Choice cleaning products that are effective and safer for staff and patients.

Join us next week for another knowledge blog from Case Medical.

Meanwhile, we'd like to hear from you.  Share how you overcame the challenges of the pandemic and learned a few new things! Contact us now with any questions you may have.

 

Wednesday, 05 May 2021 12:41

Dive into the science of cleaning

The water is fine! Or is it??

 

The Science of CleaningCleaning is complex, with multiple parameters that must be controlled. They can either enable—or inhibit—the effectiveness of your cleaning process. AAMI ST79 notes the purpose of cleaning and why it is known as the critical first step in instrument reprocessing.

“The first and most important step in reprocessing reusable medical devices is thorough cleaning and rinsing. Cleaning removes microorganisms and other organic and inorganic materials… Rinsing removes detergent and other residues that might interfere with subsequent processes.”

 

Because so much of the cleaning process cannot be seen, it’s important to understand the critical parameters and the underlying science in order to effectively manage the outcomes. Cleaning requires mechanical action, high purity water, proper detergent dosing and concentration, correct temperature and contact time, and validated, non-hazardous instrument chemistries.

The science of detergents

AAMI ST79 7.4.1 directs sterile processing personnel to use a cleaning solution that is compatible with the device and to follow the cleaning product manufacturer’s written IFU for proper dilution, concentration, temperature, and contact time. Such cleaners need to have excellent detergency, low surface tension, good chelating action, and rinse freely.

Enzymatic Cleaner vs Alkaline CleanerThe chemicals that come in contact with surgical instruments, containers, and equipment must be compatible with the materials of construction and comply with the guidance provided in the instructions for use (IFU). Deviation from the IFUs can destroy instruments and be very costly to replace.

pH Scale - NeutralFor instance, SteriTite containers must be cleaned with pH neutral cleaners. Surgical instruments also benefit from pH-neutral cleaners, and they may be even more effective. Cleaners that are not pH neutral are caustic and corrosive (even if they’re labeled aluminum safe!) and can lead to a range of detrimental effects:

      • Compromise the passive layer of instruments and medical devices
      • Lead to pitting, staining, and rusting
      • Cause colored anodized devices to bleach, fade, and discolor
      • Pose a safety hazard to patients and staff
      • Over time, destroy medical devices

Case Solutions® Instrument Chemistries are pH neutral, designed to work together as an integrated system, and are safe for instruments, containers, personnel, patients, and the environment. Use with reverse osmosis (RO) water for best results.

The science of water

The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) and the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) both recommend using critical water in the final cleaning step (see AAMI TIR34:2007). Surgical instrument cleaning requires high purity, low endotoxin water. Critical water is extensively treated, usually by a multistep treatment process. Distilled water and reverse osmosis (RO) water qualify as critical water.

Tap water may contain toxins, hazardous chemicals, hard water ions, and microorganisms. Water softener systems require consistent and routine maintenance and can create issues in medical device reprocessing leading to corrosion and pitting of surgical devices. Deionization (DI) does not remove all minerals nor is it effective for removal of microorganisms. Both softeners and DI require replenishment of salt or resins for removal of minerals or contaminants. RO utilizes filtration.

All water is not created equally

Water works in conjunction with the proper detergents, which may include enzymes, to loosen, lift, and remove contamination from surgical instruments. Poor water quality can inactivate detergents and lead to substandard results. Contaminants can also cause damage to instruments.

Facilities should conduct regular maintenance and ongoing water quality monitoring to ensure water systems are performing to standards and to prevent adverse patient safety effects.

Follow the instructions

Cleaning parameters in the manufacturers’ IFUs, including time or duration of each step, are requirements for effective outcomes. Your best bet for patient safety is to process Instructions for Useinstruments by the book and use validated, science-based cleaners, right from the start.

For all these reasons, facilities that are using caustic cleaning products should assess converting to pH neutral instrument chemistries. The Case Medical team has formulated an entire line of instrument chemistries to effectively clean medical devices while being responsible stewards of the environment and the safety of healthcare personnel. Case Medical is a long-time U.S. EPA Safer Choice partner (since 2011) and a three-time Safer Choice Partner of the Year.

Read the label

IISaferChoice_DfE_RGB-1Case Medical’s instrument cleaners and lubricant proudly display the U.S. EPA Safer Choice label. Originally designed to decontaminate and preserve the company’s SteriTite containers, you can use our validated instrument chemistries to obtain best results for all your reprocessing needs.

The U.S. EPA's Safer Choice label attests to the superior safety of the products and equal or better effectiveness compared to others in the comparison class. Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get more information about optimizing your cleaning process with Case Solutions® and SuperNova® super concentrated cleaners.


Need education CEs?

Register to join us this Thursday, May 6 for "The Case for Rigid Containers" live webinar.

 

How to choose the best reusable sterilization containers

Investigating sterilization container carePurchasing new sterilization containers can be a daunting task. Moving from blue wrap or transitioning to a new sealed container system can deliver many benefits, including cost savings, waste reduction, and improved protection for high-value instruments and equipment. However, getting the real scoop on the differences between sterilization container systems can be a challenge.

Top quality, made in the USA

At Case Medical, we are proud to design and manufacture the SteriTite® Universal Sealed Container System, a state-of-the-art container system with 510k clearance for all current Clean Instrument Setsterilization modalities—steam (both terminal and IUSS), low temperature sterilization (STERRAD, V-PRO, STERIZONE), and ethylene oxide. Broadly compatible with all instrument types, including, flexible endoscopes, the SteriTite system combines the highest level of quality with efficiency and flexibility to meet your needs.

MediTray® Inserts and Accessories allow for modular customization of any instrument set, including multi-level trays designed for endoscopy procedure sets. Whatever your most in-demand specialty sets, you can be sure that Case Medical has configured trays for similar sets for other customers, so there's no need to start from scratch.

A side-by side comparison

We’ve laid out some key features of rigid sterilization containers in the table below. Consider your needs and compare how various containers stack up (including options for internal stacking!). And let us know how we can help you with your next container conversion project!

See all the benefits of choosing SteriTite rigid reusable containers:

  USACase Medical
SteriTite®

Aesculap
SterilContainer™

BD
Genesis®

Compatibility      
Universally compatible with all sterilization modalities and instrument types, including flexible endoscopes
Ideal for loaner drop-ins with compatible DIN-sized system
Sterility Maintenance      
Prevent strikethrough with unique, offset vent pattern on filter retention plates
Secure, durable filter retention system locks with audible click, ensures plates stay in place when container is opened in the OR
Rivet-free case construction for durability, eliminating potential ingress points for microorganisms
One-year, event-related shelf life for sterile storage integrity
Flexible & Efficient      
Rapid dry time of 5- to 8-mins for terminal steam cycles with paper filters (FDA 510k cleared)
Highest degree of customization with modular components
Low profile with maximum internal usable space
Internal tray stacking of 4 to 7 trays for efficient use of space
Return on investment      
Save money with lower cost in use than other container systems
Long useful life of 10-15 years* virtually free from repairs

Trademarks are properties of their respective owners.

*REMEMBER: You must use pH neutral cleaners to preserve your sterilization containers and prolong their useful life; pH neutral cleaners are they’re better for your instruments, too. See detailed care and handling instructions in the relevant IFUs.

Get started today

All or email contact blockIf you’re ready to start a conversation about your container needs, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or complete this quick form with your contact information and your interest in a custom SteriTite container analysis. We’ll connect you with one of our experts. Our experience helping other healthcare customers over the last few decades gives us plenty of real-life examples to draw from, so we’re sure to have some ideas to help meet your needs.

 

Working together in healthcare for a healthier future

 

Healthcare provider with mask cradling globeEvery year, we have greater appreciation of our place in the healthcare industry and more incentive to expand the impact of Case Medical’s corporate sustainability efforts.

Environmentally conscious operations are part of the Case Medical way of doing business—from sustainable manufacturing processes to advocacy via the American Sustainable Business Council to our commitment to producing safer instrument chemistries aligned with the US EPA Safer Choice Program. In 2021, as science begins to turn the tide against the Covid-19 pandemic, we can see why humanity’s most important efforts require global, collaborative solutions.

“At the heart of Earth Day’s 2021 theme, Restore Our Earth, is optimism, a critically needed sentiment in a world ravaged by both climate change and the pandemic," said Kathleen Rogers, president of EarthDay.org. In honor of Earth Day, we’re sharing three past blog posts packed with real action steps and resources to help your department honor the planet through sustainable healthcare practices. Click the titles below to learn more.

1 - How healthcare can heal the planet

2 - An achievable sustainability initiative for your SPD

3 - One more achievable sustainability initiative for your SPD

Download the infographicOn the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, 20 million people came out onto the streets across the U.S., an event that to this day remains the largest civic event in human history.

In the digital age, we can connect to our global community, communicate a shared purpose, and
commit ourselves to take action in personal and professional realms. Please share your sustainability efforts and plans for future action in the comments below!

 

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