Anzen http://anzenscalpel.com Anzen Safety Scalpel | Surgical Scalpel Wed, 19 Jul 2017 17:07:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Why are Surgeons Shunning Safety Scalpels? http://anzenscalpel.com/surgeons-shunning-safety-scalpels/ Fri, 07 Jul 2017 18:43:34 +0000 http://anzenscalpel.com/?p=500 By: Adeline Yi, AnzenTM Product Manager It’s been 17 years since the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act required hospitals to adopt new safety technologies, and most hospital departments have embraced these measures—except for operating rooms. ORs face even greater risks than other departments, with the potential for scalpels to cause deeper and more serious wounds. Yet […]

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By: Adeline Yi, AnzenTM Product Manager

It’s been 17 years since the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act required hospitals to adopt new safety technologies, and most hospital departments have embraced these measures—except for operating rooms.

ORs face even greater risks than other departments, with the potential for scalpels to cause deeper and more serious wounds. Yet nationwide, the conversion to safety scalpels has been painfully slow1. What’s the holdup?

Simply put, surgeons don’t like them. In a study of 186 OR clinicians conducted jointly by Outpatient Surgery Magazine and the International Sharps Injury Prevention Society (ISIPS) in 2011, up to 60% of respondents reported that safety scalpels were not being used in their facility1. Similar results were reported in a 2016 survey by MediPurpose at the American College of Surgeons’ (ACS) Clinical Congress: 65% of respondents said their facilities did not use safety scalpels, primarily because they had not found an acceptable model.

Surgeons cite unmet needs

Surgeons complained that the safety scalpels they’d tried came up short on usability and comfort. Specifically, survey respondents cited these objections1:

  • They didn’t like the general feel of the safety scalpel (84%)
  • They had specific complaints about its weight, balance, or line of sight (52%)
  • They had difficulty with safety sheath (25%)
  • The activation method was cumbersome (35%)

65% of survey respondents reported that their facility had not found an acceptable brand/model of safety scalpel.

 

What are surgeons’ unmet needs?

In the ISIPS survey, surgeons described their ideal safety scalpel—one with the tactile and operational qualities they would need to feel confident using it:

  • The same weight, balance, and sharpness as a traditional non-safety scalpel
  • A shield that does not obstruct line of sight
  • An easy-to-operate blade that can be exposed or concealed without looking at the scalpel
  • A safety mechanism that can be operated single-handedly—with either hand

The challenge is clear: To speed the adoption of safety scalpels, new models must do a better job of meeting surgeons’ needs.


1 Stoker, R. Are Safety Scalpels Making the Cut with Surgeons and Nurses. Outpatient Surgery; 2011.

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Survey of OR Nurses Reveals Startling Rates of Scalpel-Related Injuries http://anzenscalpel.com/survey-nurses-reveals-startling-rates-scalpel-related-injuries/ Thu, 01 Jun 2017 23:01:18 +0000 http://anzenscalpel.com/?p=490 By: Margery Rothenberg, Vice President – Commercialization From their vantage point in the operating room, OR nurses see everything—including a startling number of injuries from sharp instruments.  A new survey of more than 200 nurses revealed that fully 83% of OR nurses had personally witnessed a scalpel-related injury.  Of those injuries, 36% happened to the […]

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By: Margery Rothenberg, Vice President – Commercialization

From their vantage point in the operating room, OR nurses see everything—including a startling number of injuries from sharp instruments.  A new survey of more than 200 nurses revealed that fully 83% of OR nurses had personally witnessed a scalpel-related injury.  Of those injuries, 36% happened to the nurses themselves, while 41% were incurred by surgical techs, and 23% by surgeons.

The survey was conducted by MediPurpose at the AORN Global Surgical Conference and Expo in Boston, April 1-5, 2017, which drew nearly 6,000 attendees.  AORN is a non-profit membership association that provides nursing education, standards, and clinical practice resources for its 41,000 members.

Nurses know about safety scalpels, but their facilities don’t use them

Seventy-seven percent of survey respondents said they were aware of the existence of safety scalpels, and 44% had personal experience using them.  Yet only 33% reported that safety scalpels were used at their facility.

This disturbing statistic is consistent with other reports that—despite being mandated by the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act of 2000—safety scalpels have not been adopted by most operating rooms.  In the years following that legislation, sharps injuries in nonsurgical settings dropped by almost a third, while injuries increased by 6.5% in surgical settings 1.

Does your facility use safety scalpels?

 

Why don’t more facilities use safety scalpels?

The MediPurpose survey suggests that most facilities appreciate the importance of using safety scalpels: only 13.4% of respondents said their facility “does not recognize the value of/need for safety scalpels.” Instead, respondents attributed their facility’s failure to adopt safety scalpels to:

  • Being generally resistant to change (33.5%)
  • Being slow to adopt new technology (23.4%)
  • Having been unable to find an acceptable safety scalpel (29.7%)

Surgeons’ beliefs may also be a barrier to adopting the use of safety scalpels. According to medical literature, surgeons in the past have sometimes objected that safety scalpels feel too light or flimsy, don’t fit their hands well, cut poorly, or obstruct their view of the incision 2. 

Surgeons, techs, and other staff reveal similar concerns

Data from the AORN survey echo results from other research the MediPurpose team has been conducting at conferences across the world. In May 2016, at the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association’s (ASCA) annual meeting in Dallas, surgeons, surgical techs, directors, finance/purchasing personnel and administrative staff were questioned about safety scalpels. In response:

  • 69% said they had witnessed a scalpel-related injury
  • 61% reported that their facilities did not use safety scalpels
  • 50% had not been able to find an acceptable safety scalpel model

A MediPurpose survey at the American College of Surgeons’ (ACS) Clinical Congress in Washington, DC., yielded similar results: 65% of surgeons said that their facility did not use safety scalpels—and 76% said they would use safety scalpels if they were available.

Click here for more details about the ASCA survey and here for more details about the ACS survey.


1 Jagger J, Berguer R, Phillips EK,  et al. Increase in Sharps Injuries in Surgical Settings Versus Nonsurgical Settings After Passage of National Needlestick Legislation. J Am Coll Surg; 210(4):496-502.

2 Stoker RL, Davis MS. The Economic Argument for Using Safety Scalpels. The Surgical Technologist, September 2015:401-406.

 

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Putting Two and Two Together: How Sharps Safety Saves You Money http://anzenscalpel.com/putting-two-two-together-sharps-safety-saves-money/ Tue, 07 Mar 2017 14:55:44 +0000 http://anzenscalpel.com/?p=398 By: Adeline Yi, Anzen Product Manager Throughout this series we have examined the need for the adoption of sharps safety practices and tools in the healthcare industry, as well as the consequences that result from the industry’s slow adoption. We’ve learned that sharps injuries are still prevalent today, especially in surgical settings where they have increased […]

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By: Adeline Yi, Anzen Product Manager

Throughout this series we have examined the need for the adoption of sharps safety practices and tools in the healthcare industry, as well as the consequences that result from the industry’s slow adoption. We’ve learned that sharps injuries are still prevalent today, especially in surgical settings where they have increased by 6.5 percent since the enactment of the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act of 2001. However, this figure does not include the number of injuries that go unreported each year, which is estimated to account for 50 percent of all sharps injuries.

The noticeable increase in injuries in surgical settings is a result of the industry’s slow adoption of safety scalpels, which is estimated to be less than 10 percent. Through our own research, we have discovered the lack of adoption is due to facilities’ slow implementation of new technology in general and a feeling that there have not been any acceptable safety scalpels to replace current options that are available.

In this series, we have also learned that sharps injuries – particularly scalpel injuries – have very serious consequences. Sharps injuries can have a major and negative impact on the financial, physical and mental well-being of the injured party and a financial impact on the healthcare facility.

With an estimated 1,000 sharps injuries occurring each day, U.S. hospitals experience an extra $1 billion in unnecessary annual costs. This startling figure does not include the indirect costs that are associated with sharps injuries like loss of productivity, as well as the time and resources a healthcare provider must spend evaluating, testing and treating the injured party. In addition, those who experience a sharps injury also pay a mental cost. In fact, those who are injured by a scalpel are more likely to face severe emotional and psychological effects.

In a report published by The Surgical Technologist, Ron Stoker, the founder and executive director of the International Sharps Injury Prevention Society (ISIPS), and Mark Davis, MD, a gynecologic surgeon and OR safety consultant, examine the economic argument for the use of safety scalpels. The detailed report discusses:

  • The long-standing problem of sharps injuries and those caused by scalpels
  • The financial, emotional and physical toll they take
  • Why there has not been universal adoption of safety scalpels among surgeons
  • The cost of safety scalpels compared to conventional scalpels

Interestingly, the report from Stoker and Davis found that operating room scalpel injuries indirectly increase the cost of purchased conventional blades by at least $2 per blade. With an estimated 75 million scalpel blades being used every year – assuming they are conventional – that could be an added cost of $150 million.

It is evident that sharps injuries – specifically those caused by scalpels – are extremely costly to healthcare facilities and the individuals who are injured. The implementation of safety scalpels can help to reduce the occurrence of scalpel injuries and ultimately decrease the financial cost facilities and injured parties face, as well as curtail the mental and physical toll these injuries take on those who experience them. However, implementation can only occur when there is buy-in from end-users – particularly surgeons, who feel that current safety scalpels are not up to par. That’s why we believe end-user engagement is key to the successful development of safety scalpels that provide the necessary safety features without compromising the ease of use and feel surgeons require.

Learn more about the Anzen Safety Scalpel, which we developed to address these issues, here.


https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/stopsticks/sharpsinjuries.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19890177
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20347743
Infection Control Today, 2013
http://www.leeject.com/Download/LeEject_Appendix3.pdf
The Surgical Technologist, 2015
 Ibid

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Understanding the Consequences of Injuries http://anzenscalpel.com/understanding-consequences-injuries/ Tue, 28 Feb 2017 09:12:13 +0000 http://anzenscalpel.com/?p=376 By: Adeline Yi, Anzen Product Manager The incident that causes an injury is the beginning of a long and costly journey. Sharps injuries present consequences to not only the injured individual but to the healthcare industry as a whole. Paperwork, substitute staff and treatment – sharps injuries cost time, money and peace of mind. Sharps Injury […]

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By: Adeline Yi, Anzen Product Manager

The incident that causes an injury is the beginning of a long and costly journey. Sharps injuries present consequences to not only the injured individual but to the healthcare industry as a whole. Paperwork, substitute staff and treatment – sharps injuries cost time, money and peace of mind.

Sharps Injury – Course of Action
About 385,000 sharps-related injuries occur annually among healthcare workers in hospitals, however a majority of injuries go unreported. The main concern regarding a needlestick injury (NSI) is not characterized by the trauma itself, but by the percutaneous exposure to a patient’s blood and body fluids (BBF), which may carry infectious diseases such as HIV, hepatitis C and hepatitis B. In light of this, the subsequent steps that must be taken immediately following an injury are:

1) Provide care to the site by washing wound and skin
2) Seek evaluation and treatment for the injury from the ER or your employee health center
3) Report the incident to your supervisor and document it according to your employer policy, including the type and brand of device causing injury, department where the injury occurred, and explanation of incident.
4) Identify and document source patient who should be tested for HIV, hepatitis C and hepatitis B
5) Be tested for HIV, hepatitis C and hepatitis B
6) Get post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) when source patient is unknown.
7) Get follow-up testing, counseling and monitoring of post-exposure prophylaxis toxicity.

Patients with an occupational exposure to a BBF should seek treatment as soon as possible, as studies have shown the efficacy of postexposure HIV prophylaxis is highest when initiated within the first 72 hours of exposure.

The Monetary Cost of an Injury
Sharps injuries can have a major and unnecessary impact on healthcare facility costs. Immediate and follow up treatment for exposed employees was reported to cost from $71 to $5,000 per case. The Massachusetts Sharps Injury Surveillance System, (SIC) determined approximately 1,000 percutaneous injuries per day in U.S. hospitals alone adds $1 billion in unnecessary annual costs. These costs go toward laboratory fees for testing exposed employees, associated labor and counseling and post-exposure follow-ups.

Indirect costs occur when time and compensation are shifted to receiving or providing care related to the injury. These costs include:

  • Lost productivity associated with the time required for reporting and receiving initial and follow up treatment for the injury
  • Healthcare provider time to evaluate and treat the employee
  • Healthcare provider time to evaluate and test the source patient, including obtaining informed consent for testing if applicable

The Impact on an Injury
Sharps injuries include so much more than the cost of treatment. It’s been found that the injured party can experience severe emotional and psychological effects. The injured worker faces uncertainty surrounding their infection status during the initial stages of the injury and then may have to face life-changing consequences if they’ve developed a disease. In a study on the economic impact of needlestick injuries it was found that 29 out of 110 nurses participated in emotional counseling following their needlestick injury. In a separate study, Costigliola et al (2012) questioned 634 nurses from western Europe and Russia who had experienced an NSI associated with diabetes injections. They identified emotional responses following such an injury, including depression, crying spells, tension in the family, relationship issues, panic attacks, excessive anxiety and inability to work.

Conclusion
It is difficult to know the true nature of the problem as many sharps injuries go unreported each year. However, given the reported cases each year, we know that their impact is widespread and costly. In the next post, “Putting Two and Two Together: How Sharps Safety Saves You Money,” we will review why safety scalpel adoption is important and how it can save healthcare institutions and personnel money.

 


1 http://www.cdc.gov/sharpssafety/pdf/sharpsworkbook_2008.pdf
2 http://www.bbraun.nl/documents/Sharps_Injury.pdf
3 http://www.nursingworld.org/DocumentVault/OccupationalEnvironment/Needles/7-Responses.pdf
4 http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/784812-treatment
5 http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/quality/needlestick-injuries-cost-u-s-hospitals-1b.html
6 https://www.cdc.gov/sharpssafety/appendixe.html
7 http://www.leeject.com/Download/LeEject_Appendix3.pdf
8 BD, Needlestick and sharps injuries: practice update, 2012

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Recognizing the Need for Sharps Safety in Surgery http://anzenscalpel.com/recognizing-need-sharps-safety-surgery/ Tue, 21 Feb 2017 14:29:52 +0000 http://anzenscalpel.com/?p=354 By: Adeline Yi, Anzen Product Manager Over the past few decades, the healthcare industry has taken strides in improving safety conditions for workers in surgical settings. One of these advances was the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act (NSPA) of 2001, which was created to reduce the occurrence of sharps injuries and subsequent exposure to blood-borne pathogens. […]

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By: Adeline Yi, Anzen Product Manager

Over the past few decades, the healthcare industry has taken strides in improving safety conditions for workers in surgical settings. One of these advances was the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act (NSPA) of 2001, which was created to reduce the occurrence of sharps injuries and subsequent exposure to blood-borne pathogens. This legislative effort has led to mandating the implementation of safety procedures, providing education for workers on sharps injury prevention, and requiring employers to identify, evaluate, and implement safer medical devices.

Despite efforts following the enactment of the NSPA, there are still an average of 1,000 injuries per day in the healthcare industry. And, although sharps injuries in non-surgical settings have decreased by 31.6 percent, sharps injuries in surgical settings have increased by 6.5 percent.

An Uptick in Surgical Setting Injuries
The increase of sharps injuries in surgical settings is troubling, particularly as a large number of personnel – surgeons, residents, nurses and surgical technologists – are present during a single procedure. While a variety of tools are used during each procedure, one of the most common sharps devices used is the scalpel. In fact, more than 75 million scalpel blades are reported to be used each year.

The frequent use of scalpels increases the risk surgical personnel face. Reports estimate that as many as 17 percent of sharps injuries are caused by scalpels. In fact, a study found that for every 100,000 scalpels used, there were 662 incidences of injury while there were only 3.2 syringe and needle injuries. This risk is in part due to the slow adoption of safety scalpels. As of 2010, the use of safety scalpels in the United States was estimated to be less than 10 percent. That is staggering, considering the NSPA – which specifically mandated that employers in the healthcare industry identify, evaluate, and implement safer medical devices, including scalpels – was enacted nearly a decade ago.

Although safety scalpel implementation has not been widespread in surgical settings, the safety practice of “hands free” or “no pass” zone in surgical has been adopted by some facilities. This technique has had a positive impact and has aided in the fight to decrease incidents, however, the numbers clearly indicate that current processes are not enough to stem the tide of occurrences and adequately protect healthcare workers from the occupational exposure to blood-borne pathogens that can result from a sharps injury. Although the CDC estimates that 62-88 percent of sharps injuries are preventable by using safer medical devices, there has only been a 5-15 percent conversion rate from conventional scalpels to safety scalpels.

Recently, Outpatient Surgery Magazine conducted a reader survey to determine how often safety scalpels were used in their facilities. The survey found that 52 percent of respondents said that safety scalpels were never or rarely used at their facilities and 60 percent said that none or few of the scalpels stocked were safety equipped. The article stressed that although awareness is expansive, implementation is not. This is because there is no policy in place making safety scalpels mandatory in facilities.

Curious as to why adoption has been slow, we engaged end users and influencers in a series of surveys in order to better understand trends, attitudes and best practices impacting scalpel safety, performance, and adoption. Our team recently conducted this research at the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association’s (ASCA) annual meeting in Dallas, Texas in May 2016 and at the American College of Surgeons’ (ACS) Clinical Congress in Washington, DC in October 2016. The survey, which was distributed to over 200 participants between the two conferences, revealed:

  • Most surgeons are interested in using a safety scalpel
  • The majority of healthcare facilities do not currently provide safety scalpels as an option
  • The overwhelming feeling is that facilities are either generally slow to adopt new technology or they have searched and were unsuccessful in finding an acceptable safety scalpel to replace their incumbent choices

You can learn more about the results of our ASCA survey here and our ACS survey here.

The Need Is Now
As facilities struggle to find adequate replacements for conventional scalpels, personnel are continuing to suffer injuries as a result. These injuries come at a cost – both monetary and administratively. The next post, “Understanding the Consequences of the Injury,” in the series will highlight the consequences and cost sharps injuries have on the workplace.

 


1https://www.cdc.gov/sharpssafety/pdf/sharpsworkbook_2008.pdf
2https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/stopsticks/sharpsinjuries.html
3http://www.ast.org/ceonline/articles/381/files/assets/common/downloads/The%20Economic%20Argument%20for%20using%20safety%20scalpels.pdf
4http://www.ast.org/ceonline/articles/381/files/assets/common/downloads/The%20Economic%20Argument%20for%20using%20safety%20scalpels.pdf
5http://www.journalofhospitalinfection.com/article/0195-6701(92)90005-7/abstract
6https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20347743
7https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/bloodbornepathogens/evaluation.html
8http://www.hpnonline.com/sharp-points/
9https://www.outpatientsurgery.net/surgical-facility-administration/personal-safety/where-do-you-stand-with-safety-scalpels–05-13&pg=2

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MEDICA: The Global Perspective on Safety From Distributors http://anzenscalpel.com/medica-global-perspective-safety-distributors/ Tue, 31 Jan 2017 14:37:43 +0000 http://anzenscalpel.com/?p=309 By: Patrick Yi, CEO of MediPurpose The role of the distributor is an important one to both manufacturer and customer. Effective distributors don’t simply deliver products; they work hard to connect the appropriate tools to the appropriate customers. For this reason, our team traveled to Dusseldorf, Germany to showcase our newest innovation – the Anzen […]

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By: Patrick Yi, CEO of MediPurpose

The role of the distributor is an important one to both manufacturer and customer. Effective distributors don’t simply deliver products; they work hard to connect the appropriate tools to the appropriate customers. For this reason, our team traveled to Dusseldorf, Germany to showcase our newest innovation – the Anzen safety scalpel. Exhibiting at MEDICA allowed our team access to global distributors to get their opinions and perspectives on what they deemed important for the development and design of safety scalpels.

While it is estimated that over 75 million scalpel blades are used annually in the U.S, a 2010 estimate indicated that fewer than 15% of these were safety scalpels. With this statistic in mind we developed a survey for distributors to collect their perspectives on why safety scalpels were not being used.The insights would then give us an idea on what we can do to increase adoption and product evaluation of our innovative Anzen Safety Scalpel launching in 2017!

Over the course of four days, we were able to conduct the survey with over 70 participants representing 40 countries, with 62% of visitors coming from European countries.Over 75% of the distributors we spoke with currently sell surgical products and more than 90% are interested in selling safety products. We learned:

  • 50% of attendees said that “Employee safety is “strongly considered” in purchasing decisions for scalpels”
  • More than 50% of attendees considered themselves and their organizations “strongly familiar” with safety regulations, policies and procedures
  • The biggest hurdle to “convincing end users to adopt safety scalpels” is considered cost.
  • Other hurdles include change of workflow/muscle memory, preference for a traditional scalpel and no suitable safety scalpels

 

This survey is the third in a series that we have completed in order to gain insights into the industry’s viewpoints of safety scalpels. Our results thus far, specifically at ASCA and ACS, have highlighted the lack of safety scalpel adoption in medical facilities and a belief that safety scalpels are prohibitively more expensive than traditional models. Research indicates that the cost of an injury far outweighs the cost of a safety scalpel. In fact, sharps injuries are expensive for both the injured party and the healthcare industry; immediate and follow-up treatment for exposed employees was reported to cost from $71 to $5,000 per case.3

Watch for our Cost Benefit Blog, which will go live shortly, where we break down the benefits of using a safety scalpel and highlight the hidden costs and impact of a scalpel injury.

 


1http://www.ast.org/ceonline/articles/381/files/assets/common/downloads/The%20Economic%20Argument%20for%20using%20safety%20scalpels.pdf

2http://www.medica-tradefair.com/cgi-bin/md_medica/lib/all/lob/return_download.cgi/2015_MEDICA_profile_data_2.pdf?ticket=g_u_e_s_t&bid=8968&no_mime_type=0

3https://www.cdc.gov/sharpssafety/pdf/sharpsworkbook_2008.pdf

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Embracing Change – Introducing Better Safety Scalpels to Facilities http://anzenscalpel.com/embracing-change-introducing-better-safety-scalpels-facilities/ Tue, 27 Dec 2016 19:24:11 +0000 http://anzenscalpel.com/?p=246 By: Patrick Yi, CEO of MediPurpose Consumer insight has been an invaluable tool as our team continues to test and improve the Anzen safety scalpel. In order to create an effective safety instrument, we must understand our end users’ preferences regarding safety sharps and recognize which features they find most valuable in a scalpel. To […]

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By: Patrick Yi, CEO of MediPurpose

Consumer insight has been an invaluable tool as our team continues to test and improve the Anzen safety scalpel. In order to create an effective safety instrument, we must understand our end users’ preferences regarding safety sharps and recognize which features they find most valuable in a scalpel. To increase the widespread adoption of our product, end users must be comfortable using the safety scalpel and it must be made readily available in their facilities.

Widespread adoption of safety scalpels is difficult to achieve if facilities are not on board. In a recent article from Health Purchasing News on the subject of sharps injury prevention, the Executive Director of the International Sharps Injury Prevention Society (ISIPS), Ron Stoker, shared ISIPS’ mission “Zero Needlesticks — the Only Acceptable Goal” which aims to reduce the number of accidental NSI and other sharps injuries by promoting greater adoption and proper use of safety-engineered products and services. Stoker also said that he does not believe all healthcare providers are totally compliant with the requirements of the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard and noted that one estimate puts only 5% to 15% conversion to safety scalpels, leading to unimproved scalpel-injury rates.

Last month, our team exhibited at the American College of Surgeons’ (ACS) Clinical Congress in Washington, DC. During the conference, we engaged surgeons in order to understand trends, attitudes and best practices impacting scalpel safety, performance and adoption. Booth attendees were asked to complete a survey regarding their overall thoughts on safety scalpels.

Overall, we found that while adoption of safety scalpels is slow, it is apparent that the majority of surgeons are willing to try a safety scalpel, as long as it has similar characteristics to a traditional scalpel.

The following are highlights of our findings regarding thoughts on safety scalpels:

  • 65% of respondents stated that their facility does not use safety scalpels
  • Respondents revealed a number of reasons why safety scalpels are not being used in their facility. The top two responses were:
    • Facility is generally slow to adopt new technology
    • Facility has not found acceptable safety scalpel brand/model
  • 76% of respondents would use safety scalpels if they were offered at their facility
  • A variety of responses were offered when asked why a respondent would not use a safety scalpel. These responses included:
    • If the scalpel did not significantly improve OR safety
    • If it was inconvenient to expose/ retract the blade
    • Safety components obstructed the line of sight

 

The CDC estimates that 62% to 88% of sharps injuries can be prevented simply by using safer medical devices. However, facility managers are not providing their medical staff with surgical scalpels in order to increase adoption and decrease sharps injuries. 65% of respondents revealed that their facility does not use safety scalpels. This number is consistent with the last survey we conducted at ASCA, which took place in May of 2016.  The ASCA survey revealed that 61% of respondents stated that their facility does not use safety scalpels. Slow adoption of safety scalpels is to be expected when end users are not given access to the proper tools. The lack of safety scalpels in facilities can put employees at risk of sharps injuries as well as contracting serious diseases, such as HIV and Hepatitis from blood-borne pathogens that are transmitted through these injuries.

The Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act was signed into law in 2001 to reduce the occurrence of sharps injuries and exposure to blood-borne pathogens. The act mandated employers to “identify, evaluate and implement” safer medical devices, including devices used in the care of patients during surgery. Despite the legislation, the ACS reported in 2010 that the use of safety scalpels in ORs in the United States has been estimated to be less than 10%.

In a recently revised statement on sharps safety, the ACS recommends the use of engineered sharps injury prevention (ESIP) devices as an adjunctive safety measure to reduce sharps injuries during surgeries. As such, hospitals and other medical facilities should ensure that they are using the safest surgical accessories and tools available, including safety scalpels, safety lancets, blunt tip suture needles, and others.

Feedback thus far is clear: end users are interested in adopting safety scalpels. The industry challenge is to introduce better safety scalpels into their facilities.

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A Call To Increase the Adoption of Safety Scalpels http://anzenscalpel.com/call-increase-adoption-safety-scalpels/ Tue, 29 Nov 2016 19:25:16 +0000 http://anzenscalpel.com/?p=249 By: Patrick Yi, CEO of MediPurpose Sharps, which are defined as medical devices like needles, scalpels and other tools that cut or go into the skin, are tools used daily by medical personnel. The constant usage of these medical instruments makes sharp injuries prevalent in the healthcare industry. According to the Center for Disease Control […]

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By: Patrick Yi, CEO of MediPurpose

Sharps, which are defined as medical devices like needles, scalpels and other tools that cut or go into the skin, are tools used daily by medical personnel. The constant usage of these medical instruments makes sharp injuries prevalent in the healthcare industry. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 385,000 sharps-related injuries occur annually among hospital-based healthcare personnel, which amounts to approximately 1,000 sharps injuries per day. One of the best ways to battle these injuries is to call for the widespread adoption of safety scalpels.

Outpatient Surgery Magazine conducted a 124 participant reader survey in 2013 to determine how often safety scalpels are used in their facilities and how they would recommend putting them to routine use. The magazine stated that despite the protection safety scalpels offer against injuries, exposure and costly consequences, surgeons were still hesitant to use, and they wanted to know why. The survey revealed:

  • 63.4% of respondents have either experienced or witnessed a scalpel-related injury
  • 60.4% of respondents reveal that none or few of the scalpels purchased by their facility are safety scalpels
  • 52% of respondents say that safety scalpels are never or rarely used at their facilities

 

The survey also revealed that a hesitation existed around the adoption of safety scalpels because of a concern that the weight was different from what surgeons were accustomed to and the safety device blocked visibility during surgery. Respondents recommended that the best way to get surgeons to adopt safety scalpels was to provide hard data on injury reports, get backing from senior leadership and most importantly, have surgeons test the scalpel, getting them directly in surgeons’ hands.

This year, our team wants to learn how the industry’s viewpoints on safety scalpels have shifted, if at all, over the last three years. With this goal in mind, our team will be attending conferences across the world to ask end users and distributors a series of questions to gauge their knowledge surrounding safety scalpels and safety practices.

The first conference we attended was the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association’s (ASCA) annual meeting in Dallas, Texas in May 2016, where professionals attended over 60 educational and networking sessions to discuss industry trends and news. We distributed a survey throughout the conference to gain insight on this industry’s view towards safety scalpels. The survey, which polled 158 conference attendees including surgeons, surgical techs, directors, finance/purchasing personnel and administrative staff, revealed valuable insights as to how the medical industry reacts to safety scalpels. Highlights of the survey include:

  • 69% of respondents have witnessed a scalpel related injury
  • 61% of respondents stated that their facilities do not use safety scalpels

 

Reasons for not using a safety scalpel varied among users, including:

  • No acceptable model (50%)
  • Resists change (28%)
  • Slow adoption (17%)
  • No value, a safety scalpel is not needed (6%)

 

The key takeaway from this survey was that safety scalpels are not readily available to medical staff, with over 61% of respondents stating that their facilities do not have them on site. This figure shows that not much has changed since 2013 as a majority of the 2013 respondents revealed that none or few of the scalpels used in their facilities are safety scalpels. The lack of safety scalpels in facilities can put employees at risk for experiencing sharps injuries as well as contracting serious diseases, such as HIV and Hepatitis from blood-borne pathogens that are transmitted through these injuries.

The Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act was signed into law in 2001 to reduce the occurrence of sharps injuries and exposure to blood-borne pathogens. The law requires employers to use work practice controls and safer needle devices that are engineered to eliminate or minimize exposure to blood-borne pathogens resulting from needlestick and sharps injuries.

Since the Act was enacted 15 years ago, many hospitals and medical facilities have complied with the standard by using a variety of safety products. However, the adoption of safety products in most places has not included safety scalpels, which we saw in both the 2013 Outpatient Surgery survey and the 2016 ASCA Survey. These surveys revealed that respondents are not satisfied with the current safety models on the market. Survey respondents cited issues with both weight and obstructed sight lines as reasons they do not currently use safety scalpels.

With the CDC citing that 62%-88% of sharps injuries can be prevented by simply using safer medical devices, it is of the utmost importance for medical facilities and hospitals to implement the proper safety procedures and require the use of safety tools. As such, it is our mission, with the creation of Anzen, to help reduce the number of sharps injuries by educating decision makers on the importance of adopting safety scalpels as well as to provide surgeons with the first safety scalpel encompassing all of the needed safety features without compromising the ease of use and feel they require.

The post A Call To Increase the Adoption of Safety Scalpels appeared first on Anzen.

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