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Subject: (6/15/2006)
Question: What is the financial commitment that a hospital has to make to run a REMEDY program?
Answer: In the first ten years of the REMEDY pilot program at Yale - New Haven Hospital, the cost never exceeded $200 per year. This went for the cost of the new brown paper bags in which recovered supplies were transported on case carts to Central Sterile Supply, and the cost of detergent for those few items that needed hand cleansing, rather than Ethylene Oxide Gas Sterilization.

All items that are decontaminated are placed in the sterilization chamber only when space is available. All hand cleansing, examination, sorting, packing is done by volunteers. Boxes are recycled from within the hospital.
Subject: (6/15/2006)
Question: What do I do if my charity won't pick up recovered supplies anymore?
Answer: Don't panic! And don't stop collecting! Sometimes organizations find themselves unable to continue receiving your supplies. If this happens, contact REMEDY. We will help you find another organization that will commit to picking up your recovered supplies on a regular basis (and soon).
Subject: (6/15/2006)
Question: What if my hospital can't decontaminate recovered supplies before packing?
Answer: The REMEDY protocols call for decontamination of supplies before packing. These procedures are included for the protection of the volunteers sorting supplies. End-use sterility CANNOT be guaranteed. (Thus the directive to label all boxes as donated "as is" - template included in our teaching packet). The materials will pass from the hospital to the receiving charity and then be shipped overseas through any number of inspections before arriving at their intended destination. This, however, is our recommendation.

Some REMEDY-based programs do not have access to decontamination facilities. If strict protocols are followed, and only clean, unused materials are recovered, it is certainly possible to find an organization that will still accept the supplies. The need is so great! We will help you to find one, if needed.
Subject: (6/15/2006)
Question: What can I do if I can't start a program throughout the whole OR?
Answer: If you need to start a program step-by-step, to gain commitment from fellow staff members, we suggest one of the following strategies:

Start your recovery efforts in ONE OPERATING ROOM only. Begin collecting from each case in that room and get the team accustomed to the protocols. After a while, when they see how easily the protocols are integrated, they will probably join your efforts to expand.

Begin by recovering ONLY ONE TYPE OF ITEM (we would suggest SUTURES). When the team becomes aware of how much they are reducing the waste, and how simple and direct the system is, you can move on to include more items.
Subject: (6/15/2006)
Question: What kind of supplies can be recovered?
Answer: See our list under "About REMEDY > How REMEDY Works > What Supplies Can Be Recovered
Subject: (6/15/2006)
Question: What departments of the hospital can recover supplies?
Answer: The REMEDY protocols were designed specifically for the Operating Room, and the studies that have been published deal with ORs only. However, the protocols can and have been adapted to many different critical care units within a hospital, including all surgical environments, emergency units, intensive care units, labs, etc.

What does the FDA say about recovery of open-but-unused single use only supplies?

The FDA guidelines "Enforcement Priorities for Single-Use Devices Reprocessed by Third Parties and Hospitals", released in August, 2000, on p.11 specifically EXCLUDES open-but-unused single use only. These are defined in its Appendix B as: "Opened-but-unused devices are single-use, disposable devices whose sterility has been breached or compromised, or whose sterile package was opened but not been used on a patient, that is, they have not been in contact with blood or bodily fluids."

If following protocols as found in the REMEDY Teaching Packet, materials recovered would fall under this category. In addition, the document is intended for guidance on reprocessing for use within the hospital...not for donation overseas.

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