Amongst all the critical jobs that need to be carried out in any hospital or medical practice, surgical instrument repair or maintenance is probably one of the least favourites. However, in the midst of ever-shrinking budgets and staff shortfalls, this is a common problem area that can rear its ‘ugly blade’ at the most inconvenient or critical moment. Prevention is always better than the ‘cure’ of cancelling a procedure or having to replace condemned instruments due to them letting the side down and not performing at their ‘razor sharp’ best.
While the patient is, and will always be, the prime focus of your attention when dealing with acute and complicated procedures, preventative maintenance of your instruments cannot be overlooked. Surgical instrument maintenance ensures the continued safety of your patients, helps you manage your instrument budget and keep your overall departmental expenses in check.
We explore how you can take the hassle and stress out of constant surgical instruments repair and servicing and identify the everyday clinical items primed for sharpening to ensure the best patient care.
Instrument degradation – Often obscured from the naked eye
In a recent blog, we highlighted the importance of medical instrument sterilisation for infection control and maximum patient safety. Your CSSD department also plays a front-line role in instrument care through a thorough cleaning and disinfection process.
Due to the high chloride ion content (not visible to the human eye), the remnants of blood and body tissue – if not thoroughly rinsed immediately after surgical procedures – are the chief culprits in damaging stainless steel instruments.
Educating your staff and implementing regular testing and inspections ensures that your team can identify when any surgical instrument should be sent for repair or servicing.
It goes without saying that proper care and handling are key to the longevity of your surgical instruments, but the necessity of servicing and repairs is a reality and these should always be carried out by a trusted partner.
Surgical Instruments that are prime candidates for repair and service
It is important for your team to be aware that the cost of replacing instruments far outweighs the cost of regular surgical instrument maintenance and equipment repairs. Whether running a GP practice or conducting major surgery, you cannot perform your duties with instruments that are blunt, stained, damaged or malfunctioning.
In order to provide the best patient care possible, a regular audit of surgical instruments is vital in ascertaining which maintenance or repairs need to be budgeted for and undertaken to mitigate having to replace condemned instruments.
These would include the following:
- Scissor sharpening
- Chisel, osteotome and curette sharpening
- Rongeur sharpening
- Kerrison rongeurs: sharpening, screw replacement, cleaning
- Forceps alignment
- Surgical clamps, ratchets and forceps repair
- Joint lubrication and repair
- Instrument tape removal and buffing
- Dermatome servicing and repairs
- Tourniquet servicing and repairs
If your current surgical instruments and equipment supplier is unable to provide a professional and timely one-stop shop for procurement and aftercare repair guarantees, we recommend that you look around for a new healthcare solutions provider.
Instrumental Healthcare – Surgical instrument repair and maintenance experts
At Instrumental Healthcare, we are committed to not only partnering with you to offer the best patient care possible but also assisting you to reduce your overheads by extending the product life of your reusable instrumentation.
Our trained team of certified technicians carry out major and minor surgical instrument maintenance and repair on a wide range of solutions conducted at our in-house repair centre. We are also able to service and repair Humeca dermatomes as well as tourniquet systems.
We also offer a cost-effective replacement of condemned instruments through a leading range of surgical instruments that cater to a wide range of disciplines. Some of our customers send in entire sets yearly or bi-annually as part of our Preventative Maintenance Program, which makes budget sense.