Need to Curb Healthcare Costs, Reasons of Environmental Degradation due to Dumping of Medical Wastes Necessitate Reprocessing of Medical Devices

Published By : 10 Mar 2016 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

Reprocessing of medical devices is a standard practice as part of the entire lifecycle of medical devices. Reprocessing of medical devices involves refurbishing medical devices that are used and expired but are not defunct. Tis process involves cleaning, disinfecting, evaluating, remanufacturing, sanitizing, packaging, and labeling of medical devices for patient-use at a considerably low cost.

Across the world, the need to curb healthcare costs and increasing pressure from environmental agencies for reducing medical wastes are reasons for increased rate of refurbishment of medical devices. As cited by data from the Association of Medical Device Reprocessors (AMDR), the use of reprocessed medical devices can convert into savings of almost US$500,000 to US$2 mn each year for a hospital. This is directly related with economic benefits for the overall healthcare system of a region.

Nevertheless, in emerging nations, reprocessing of medical devices has received a negative perception due to solely being carried out for coat cutting reasons. Here in these regions, lack of mandates that control and specify reprocessing techniques has intervened with patient safety resulting in medical accidents using reprocessed devices. Due to such incidents, at present, most large healthcare organizations outsource reprocessing engagements to third-party service providers.

In these countries, until a decade ago, the process of reprocessing of medical devices was so much lax that it would be carried out in the hospital premises by the in-house staff without adhering to guidelines, as suggested by research publications. However, with FDA’s guidelines for reprocessing of medical devices being implemented, these guidelines have become a part of standard practices that large healthcare organizations and healthcare groups adhere to.

North America is a dominating market for reprocessed medical devices due to several reasons. In this region, increased rate of medical device reprocessing practices and favorable regulations are the reasons for the same. In addition, with consistent technological innovations, the low prices of reprocessing of medical devices not compromising on the functionality are the reasons for the same. Europe is slated to emerge as a significant market for reprocessed medical devices in the coming years. Need to curb healthcare expenditures and increasing pressure from administrative authorities of hospitals to keep budget under control are reasons for the same.

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