Home  |  Site Map  |  Med-Eq

Why? Ask A Question

Subject: (6/15/2006)
Question: Why would my OR manager support this program?
Answer: A REMEDY program brings many benefits to the OR context. We find that staff morale is improved as their own private concerns for the tremendous waste of supplies is officially addressed. Though in every hospital there are those, who in the interest of reducing waste and helping others "squirrel away" supplies to bring home, to give to vets, to collect for charitable donation on their own. But these attempts are often accompanied by worries of being "found out" for sneaking supplies away from the hospital and possible ramifications. In an organized, sanctioned project, everyone works together to reduce the waste. Many physicians, nurses and techs would like the opportunity to participate in volunteer medical trips but are unable because of family, work and other obligations to do so. This project provides the context for staff to work together on an environmentally responsible, global medical aid project without having to leave the workplace.

Also, a REMEDY program points the way to cost-effectiveness in management of OR materials. As staff becomes accustomed to recovering, they are more careful about how supplies are prepared. (Rosenblatt, WH et al, Assessment of the Economic Impact of an Overage Reduction Program in the Operating Room, J of Clin Anesthesiology, 9:478-481, 1997).

Data collected during a defined period of time can illuminate the waste generated from particular custom paks (leading to requests that vendors re-customize) and over-indulgent pick lists.
Subject: (6/15/2006)
Question: Why shouldn't we just try to send our recovered supplies overseas ourselves?
Answer: Although you can try to arrange to send supplies on your own, the costs and the challenge of ensuring successful delivery can be quite challenging. Unless you have strong contacts and funding, a great deal of time, energy, and personal resources will go into the delivery of supplies (which can be accomplished in concert with experienced groups) and may compromise your recovery efforts (which must be done from inside the medical facility).
Subject: (6/15/2006)
Question: Why do the call for decontaminating supplies before packing?
Answer: The REMEDY protocols call for recovery of ONLY, non-grossly contaminated disposable supplies that have had no patient contact. These are clean materials. However, in setting up the original REMEDY pilot program, it was the opinion of the Epidemiologist at Yale, that to employ the safest and most complete procedures would include decontamination as protection for those volunteers sorting the materials, at the hospital and at the receiving charity. This decontamination is not for the benefit of end-users. Without totally re-sterilizing and re-wrapping the supplies, there is no way to guarantee that.
Subject: (6/15/2006)
Question: Why do hospitals discard these supplies, anyway?
Answer: Many of the supplies used by hospitals are labeled as "single-use only". They are intended to be used only on one patient, and only once on that patient. The manufactures that make these supplies will honor the warantees on them for a single-use only. The question becomes what constitutes "use" of these products. Manufacturers have held that if supplies are opened and prepared for a surgical procedure, whether they have come in contact with a patient of not, this product has been "used."

Given the litigiousness of our society, hospitals have feared the risk of liability for diverting these materials back into the inventory. Thus, for decades, if materials were opened yet unused by a surgeon, they were discarded - the disposal of hundreds of thousands of dollars of unused supplies per year was considered a better "hit" than being sued if something went wrong in a situation where these supplies had been "re-used." This applied also to cases that are canceled...disposable supplies from an entire prepared room would be discarded.

Copyright © 2006-2024 Remedy. All rights reserved. Web Design CT - Web Solutions, Inc.