Benefit of single use instruments
The complexity of reprocessing medical instruments is often underestimated. All stages involved take considerable time and involve several different professionals.
Single use instruments do not require:
- Counting and checking
- Re-working returns
- Instrument damage control
- The logistics of restocking
These processes can lead to delays in theatre lists and appointments, creating extra administration and distress to patients and staff.
Single use instruments are easy to stock, and require almost no attention which saves the staff a lot of time.
Extreme as it sounds, there are some things which chemical or cleaning methods may not be able to completely remove. Abnormal proteins associated with rare prion diseases, such as vCJD, are not living organisms and are resistant to all conventional methods of decontamination. This means that when difficult to clean instruments are reused, proteins can potentially pass on to the patient and have adverse effects
To assess the total cost of using single-use disposables, procurement personnel need to take into consideration more than the initial purchasing costs. By looking at the different processes that both reusable and single-use instruments have to go through in order to be fit-for-purpose, the cost savings become clear.
Besides the price, the cost of SUI compared to reusable instruments includes other variables such as labour costs, water, energy and time consumption, safety, and sustainability.