Healthcare professionals know that reusable instruments must be cleaned, disinfected, and sterilised, but the risk of cross-contamination remains. The CDC recommends that clinicians use disposable tools and supplies when the situation allows. The agency states that “the use of disposable devices improves patient safety by eliminating the risk of patient-to-patient infection. Disposable devices eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination because they are discarded immediately after use.
As a result of these concerns, many surgeons and medical practices have begun to transition to single use instruments and supplies.
Advantages of Using Single Use Instruments
Thanks to technological advances, more and more procedures can be performed with small instruments. They make it easier to perform less invasive procedures on patients. However, these instruments are difficult to clean and reuse. Therefore, reprocessing these surgical instruments is an increasingly difficult task.
Here are seven advantages that physicians and hospital administrators can expect from the transition to single-use products:
1. Risk Management
Sterile single-use products help manage risk by reducing the likelihood of cross-contamination, thereby reducing the spread of infections in healthcare settings.
2. Sterilisation and Reprocessing
The use of single-use materials eliminates the need for reprocessing. By eliminating the cleaning, disinfection and sterilization process, healthcare workers save time and increase efficiency. It also reduces costs associated with complying with regulations and decontamination guidelines, such as the use of autoclaves required for certain instruments or the purchase of disinfectant sprays for hospitals.
3. Organ Traceability
All single-use instruments are individually traceable. To identify the batch and date of manufacture of an instrument, physicians need only look at the batch number on the packaging.
4. Logistics and Inventory
For many healthcare facilities, it is no longer convenient to maintain an inventory of expensive reusable instruments. With the proliferation of small, non-surgical procedures, medical practices can save time and money by switching to sterile, single-use instruments. In addition to not having to reprocess equipment, disposable instruments allow medical practices to adapt to needs at a lower cost than reusable equipment.
5. Cost Sharing
Hospitals and reimbursement organizations have difficulty calculating the cost of sterilization and reprocessing of reusable instruments. The use of disposable products simplifies the cost of surgical instruments by eliminating the need for reprocessing.
6. Reimbursement of Insurance Contributions
Reusable organs are defined as consumables under the medical reimbursement policy. According to Moda Health, “in most cases, payment for these consumables is included in the administrative cost, which is reported with a CPT or HCPCS code. In a hospital, the administrative service is included in the cost of the room or facility, while the cost of these supplies is included in the cost of eligible services.
These items, if reported on the claim or itemized invoice, will not be reimbursed separately or included in the additional reimbursement calculation.” Disposable items, on the other hand, are not considered routine items because they are not reusable. Non-routine items can be charged separately because they can be directly linked to a specific process. Therefore, healthcare providers may bill these items with or without an HCPCS code using the appropriate revenue code.
7. Cost Savings
Although it may seem wasteful to throw away an item after each use by a patient, the time and cost of reprocessing reusable items is often higher than the cost of consumables. Practices using reusable instruments should consider the resources required to properly disinfect each instrument.
Healthcare facilities should consider their specific needs and regulatory guidelines and recommendations when deciding whether to switch to single-use instruments. These measures can help improve patient safety and reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections. For more: JimyMedical.co.uk.