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How SUD reprocessing delivers bigger value to health systems

By Erin Broeske

Single-use device (SUD) reprocessing is utilized by more than 3,000 hospitals to help drive down the cost of supplies and reduce medical waste sent to landfills.

With the industry still ripe for growth, many health systems are setting goals to grow their savings year-over-year, in order to gain more value from their reprocessing program. This focused effort has helped Stryker customers grow their savings over 57 percent over the past six years. Growth will continue to rise, as a recent Global Medical Device Reprocessing market research report projects the industry will grow by 16.6 percent in the next five years.

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Growing savings isn’t as simple as adding new devices to a facility’s mix of purchases, it takes a dedicated commitment from the health system and their reprocessing partner to achieve sustainable growth. In the last year, the reprocessing industry has focused on investments and innovations that make it easier for health systems to reprocess. Here are the most proven and effective ways for health systems to grow the value of their SUD reprocessing program.

Collections
Pulling back the curtain on some of the most successful reprocessing programs shows that increasing device collections is key to realizing value. Simply put, collections are critical to having reprocessed inventory available for purchase, and likewise, to sustaining and growing the value of SUD reprocessing. Not to mention, with every device collected, health systems minimize waste that ends up in landfills, ultimately reducing their environmental footprint and helping achieve sustainability goals. Even with all of the positive impact this program can have, health systems across the country continue to uncover opportunities to improve their collection performance. For instance, a 116-bed hospital in the Northwest turned its focus to increasing collections in 2017. To achieve this goal, they worked with their reprocessing partner to educate staff and increase collections on the general floor and in the electrophysiology (EP) lab. In one year, they have tripled the number of devices collected, helping them to save more than $460,000 and divert 27,309 pounds of waste. Educating staff on which devices can be collected and where they should be placed is one simple and effective way for health systems to improve their device collections. In support of this goal, some SUD reprocessors are taking it one step farther by providing incentives to reward customers who improve their collections. Focusing these programs on high volume devices, like pulse oximeters, can create a deeper sense of importance among staff about the greater impact collections and waste diversion can bring to their community.

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