According to the CDC, in any given day, one in 31 hospital patients will contract at least one healthcare-associated infection (HAI). Healthcare-associated infections are infections that patients acquire in a clinical setting, while receiving medical care for another condition. HAIs most commonly transfer from one patient to another because the medical tools used on the first patient were not properly sanitized and disinfected before being used on a second patient. Several critical steps must be taken when working with medical devices, especially reusable devices that are used on multiple patients, in order to prevent the spread of HAIs.
In addition to risking a patient’s health and well-being, hospitals will face severe penalties if they expose patients to hospital-acquired conditions. In 2017, more than 22% of hospitals that were evaluated were penalized by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services because patients developed an HAI at their facility. OBP Medical released an article titled Updates on Medicare Penalties for Hospital-Acquired Conditions explaining the types of infections that are commonly spread in hospitals (e.g., C. diff, pneumonia, MRSA), as well as the penalties associated with such HAIs. When working in this type of environment, it is imperative that every step is taken in order to ensure that patients receive the best and safest care possible.
Staff must sterilize and disinfect all reusable medical devices after each use to aid in the prevention of infection transfer. Although proper cleaning can help, there is an even better way to prevent the spread of HAIs. In lieu of cleaning and disinfecting reusable medical instruments, healthcare facilities can make the switch to disposable medical devices instead. Single-patient medical devices virtually eliminate the spread of healthcare-associated infections because they are used one time, with one patient, and then the device is discarded. They will only reduce the risk if used correctly, so it is crucial that they are used exactly as directed – meaning that it should be used only once, with only one patient, and then discarded immediately after use. Disposable medical devices can aid in making hospitals a safer place for patients, while also eliminating the risk for HAI-related penalties.
There are certain devices, such as disposable thermometers, that can be extremely helpful when it comes to preventing healthcare-associated infections. Medical Indicators understands how important it is for doctors, nurses and patients to use a product that is both safe and accurate. Medical Indicators’ disposable thermometers, including NexTemp®, Tempa•DOT®, and TraxIt®, provide highly-accurate readings, while also eliminating the risk of exposure to healthcare-associated infections.
The National and State Healthcare-Associated Infections Progress Report: How Can Providers Prevent HAIs?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2019 National and State Healthcare-Associated Infections Progress Report provides the national- and state-level HAI incidence data for 2019 in the four major healthcare settings: acute care hospitals, critical access hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and long-term acute care hospitals. The report is designed to assess problem areas and provide the information needed in order to implement changes that will increase patient safety and ensure that the best and safest medical care is provided to all.
In the report, the CDC states that on any given day, one in 31 patients in the US acquires at least one HAI, highlighting the need for improvements in patient care in healthcare facilities. Even though progress has been made in recent years, more changes need to be implemented in order to prevent healthcare-associated infections and increase patient safety.
One of the top ways to reduce the spread of HAIs in healthcare settings is through the use of disposable medical devices. Disposable medical devices are instruments that are used by only one person, only one time, and are then disposed of after use. Single-use devices can be a great tool for reducing the risk of transferring germs and infections among patients, therefore reducing the rate of healthcare-associated infections. Because these tools are only used by one patient, and only used one time, they help to reduce the spread of infection by person-to-person contact.
Hospitals opting for disposable medical devices could lead to a significant reduction in the number of healthcare-associated infections. Disposable medical devices not only make it easy to provide patients with the care they need by making it a simple process, but they also greatly reduce the time spent away from patients as there is no need for medical staff to disinfect reusable devices after every use. Eliminating the need to clean reusable devices would allow providers to spend more time focusing on providing the best possible care to all of their patients.
Medical Indicators Partners with Maness Veteran Medical to Bring Their Innovative, Single-Use Thermometers to America’s Veterans and Active Military Members
Medical Indicators, Inc. is pleased to announce their partnership with Maness Veteran Medical, LLC. Partnering with Maness Veteran Medical, a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), will enable Medical Indicators, the only manufacturer of clinically-accurate, single-use thermometers in the world manufacturing all of their products in the U.S., to bring their innovative, disposable thermometers to America’s veterans, the U.S. Department of Defense, and active military service members.
Medical Indicators’ line of single-use thermometers, including NexTemp®, NexTemp® Ultra, TempaDOT® and TraxIt® thermometers, features a patented chemistry system that utilizes heat-sensitive crystals to provide the most accurate temperature reading available on the market today. In addition to their accuracy, all of Medical Indicators’ thermometers are individually wrapped and intended to be disposed of after use – offering doctors, nurses and their patients maximum infection control. Disposing of the thermometer after use virtually eliminates the risk of spreading germs, illnesses and infections, which is a critical component of patient care, now more than ever.
“Medical Indicators has worked with VA Hospitals throughout the U.S. for many years,” said Joel Welde, Medical Indicators’ Chief Executive Officer, “and through this partnership, we’re excited to expand our reach and provide the absolute best in patient care to even more of our nation’s most deserving.”
For more than 35 years, Medical Indicators’ thermometers have been trusted by top physicians, national health systems and teaching institutions around the world. In an effort to further the advancement of veteran and active military care, Medical Indicators is proud to have the dedicated team at Maness Veteran Medical be their exclusive SDVOSB distributor.
Single-use medical devices are those that are used one time, by one patient, during one procedure. After a single-use medical device has been used, it is disposed. There are many benefits to using disposable medical devices in place of their reusable alternatives. An OBP Medical article titled Top Reasons to Switch to Single-Use Medical Devices explains the many benefits of switching to disposable medical devices.
Safety. Arguably, the most significant benefit to using single-use medical devices is that disposing of the device immediately after use improves patient safety. Single-use medical devices reduce the risk of surgical site infections and cross-contamination. If only one person is using the device, and the device is used correctly, the possibility of spreading germs and diseases among patients and medical personnel is virtually eliminated. According to the CDC, disposable items improve patient safety by eliminating the risk of patient-to-patient contamination because the item is discarded, and therefore not used on another patient. With increased attention being paid to infection control, single-use medical devices can provide peace of mind, improve patient safety and can greatly reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
Time. In order to ensure that reusable medical devices are safe to use with other patients, they must be cleaned after every use. Taking the time to clean reusable devices means less time spent with patients. Most single-use medical devices are ready to use upon opening, saving medical professionals a significant amount of time. Single-use devices, also, eliminate the need for medical staff to clean, disinfect, and sterilize reusable devices. With minimal preparation and effort, single-use medical devices can significantly increase a facility’s efficiency.
Cost. Although single-use medical devices may seem like a more expensive option, it’s usually a more cost-effective one in the long run. Many reusable devices require the purchase of additional accessories in order to ensure the device is safe for use among multiple patients. However, disposable products don’t require the purchase of additional accessories, and there’s no additional costs associated with cleaning, calibrating or repairing disposable devices. Reusable devices require the re-purchasing of decontamination supplies on a regular basis, and there is also the additional cost of machine maintenance, utility use, and employee time, which can greatly increase costs. Single-use supplies can provide the same quality as reusable devices without the additional cost of ongoing maintenance and upkeep. In the end, providers will see continued savings after making the switch to single-use medical supplies.
At Medical Indicators, we’re dedicated to manufacturing the highest-quality single-use thermometers for our customers. Our disposable thermometers save users time, energy and money, and most importantly, provide maximum infection control – ensuring the safety of both patients and their providers.
Yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration issued an alert to warn consumers about the inaccuracy of thermal imaging devices. Infrared thermometers have become an increasingly popular way of taking temperatures since the COVID-19 pandemic started, with many privately-owned businesses such as hair salons, airlines, schools, workplaces, and public venues using them as a way to monitor temperatures before allowing people into their establishments.
But are these thermometers accurate? According to the FDA, improper use of thermal imaging systems may lead to inaccurate temperature readings, which can present serious public health risks. If these thermometers are giving inaccurately-low readings, then people who are sick could infect others without even knowing it. In the same way, infrared thermometers could also give a falsely-high temperature reading, resulting in an individual not being able to continue with their plans because they were required to fall below a certain temperature threshold and according to the infrared thermometer, they did not.
The Washington Post also issued an article yesterday, further analyzing the FDA’s alert. According to Drew Harwell from the Washington Post, a lot of companies jumped into the infrared thermometer market this past year due to the coronavirus pandemic, with many having no experience or knowledge on manufacturing these devices prior to this year. These medical devices used to require testing, known as 510(k) clearance, that would test the safety and effectiveness of the product. This was an important process before the coronavirus epidemic happened, but because of supply and demand, the FDA had to lift the 510(k) clearance requirement rule in order to give consumers access to more thermometry options. The fact that these thermometers are no longer being tested before being put on the market for consumers to purchase could question their validity.
The FDA lists several requirements that need to be met in order to provide a more accurate reading, including using the device in the proper environment and/or location as external temperatures could affect the reading; the systems need to be set up correctly and calibrated regularly to ensure they are operating effectively; and the person handling the device must be properly trained on its setup, usage, cleaning and calibrating. If all of these steps are not followed correctly, consumers could suffer from inaccurate readings.
Although thermal imaging devices may seem like an easy and use-friendly option, these thermometers have proven their inability to provide consistent and accurate readings. Due to these inaccuracies, these thermometers should not be a trusted source when measuring a person’s body temperature. Instead, clinically-accurate thermometers should be used. All of Medical Indicators’ thermometers are accurate to ±0.2ºF or ±0.1ºC, which is the highest level of accuracy available on the market today. Visit our website to learn more about how Medical Indicators’ thermometers provide a safe, reliable and accurate temperature reading, each and every time they are used.
The risk of transmitting infectious diseases from patients to medical staff, as well as from medical staff to other patients, is a significant concern in hospital and clinical settings. Infection transfer can lead to germs and illnesses quickly spreading throughout a facility, leading to an increase in the rate of Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI) among patients and staff. Protective measures should be implemented and followed by all medical staff to ensure the safety and well-being of both the patients and their providers. One of the best ways to significantly reduce the spread of germs and infections is with the use of single-use medical devices.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration define single-use or disposable medical devices as those strictly intended for use on one patient during only one procedure. In recent years, there has been an industry-wide focus, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, to implement methods and procedures directly focused on reducing the risk of HAIs. The use of disposable medical supplies is a reliable option for ensuring that all devices are decontaminated and safe for use on patients. Single-use medical devices can protect patients from developing life-threatening infections from cross-contamination or unsafe conditions during medical procedures and treatments.
A research study entitled Importance of disposable medical materials and instruments in the prevention of intrahospital infections, tested disposable and reusable medical instruments to establish the difference between their level of protection from microorganisms. The report found that nearly 30% of the reusable medical devices tested positive for isolated bacteria; while the entire control group of disposable products tested as sterile. The frequency of samples that tested negative for bacteria among the disposable products is highly significant because these results confirm that the level of protection is higher if disposable products are used. The study suggests that reusable medical devices and products should be replaced by disposable materials to decrease the incidence of infections.
When healthcare facilities and hospital systems switch from reusable to single-use medical devices, the benefits are invaluable. Visit Medical Indicators’ website to learn more about our disposable thermometers, and how they can ensure the safety and well-being of both your patients and your staff.
Even though people are starting to get a sense of relief now that vaccine distribution has begun, we must still take precautions to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19. The pandemic has gone on for much longer than anyone initially anticipated, leading many to wonder if it’ll ever truly end; however, there is hope. As more and more people are getting vaccinated, in the United States as well as around the world, an end to this pandemic does seem possible after all – but we all need to continue to do our part.
There are many precautions that we can take in order to protect ourselves from COVID-19. Wearing a mask is an important way to not only protect yourself, but to protect those around you as well. Other helpful tips include washing your hands regularly for the recommended 20 seconds and to keep a safe, 6-foot distance from others when in public. The CDC also lists regular temperature checks as one of the top ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19, so be sure to monitor your temperature regularly, especially if you’re feeling under the weather. Medical Indicators’ line of clinically-accurate, single-use thermometers are widely used by hospitals, schools and businesses, as well as individuals and families. They are lightweight and compact, easily fitting into a purse, a first-aid kit, your backpack, or even your wallet – making them the perfect option for when you’re on the go. In addition, they don’t require the purchase of batteries or other additional accessories, they don’t need to be calibrated prior to use, and they don’t need to be cleaned in between uses – saving users both time and money.
As employees start returning to their offices and schools begin to see the return of students, we need to stay vigilant now more than ever. While the end is in sight, we’re not there yet. Monitoring your temperature, washing your hands, maintaining a safe social distance and wearing your mask will help in the continued fight against COVID-19.
For more information and helpful tips relating to the coronavirus pandemic, visit the CDC’s COVID-19 resource center.