Budgets are tightening in most hospitals these days. Purchasing professionals are facing increasing pressures to buy the lowest priced products, yet maintain a high-quality. When purchasing surgical gowns and drapes, this is especially important. These materials are crucial to maintaining infection control practices and keeping surgical patients and staff safe.
So, we asked manufacturers of these materials: What are the top three considerations surgical professionals should make when purchasing surgical gowns and drapes?
Here, Mark Benjamin, Marketing Communications Specialist for Medical Concepts Development, provides his take on how to make the best decision when purchasing these important materials for the OR.
1. Get exactly what you need.
Drapes designed for specific procedures save time and eliminate waste, which creates cost savings as well. Look for manufacturers who listen to what their customers want and need, and then develop and refine products that will help them perform their jobs more effectively and efficiently.
2. Go for maximum infection control.
With additional costs of hospital-acquired infections in the United States estimated at $30.5 billion yearly, drapes that help prevent infection should be a must-have.
Antimicrobial drapes offer an additional layer of microbe-killing protection. Choose drapes with impervious materials and construction methods to minimize the chance of HAIs.
3. Know where your drapes are coming from.
Outsourcing in the global marketplace means supply chains for your drapes may extend to many different countries, China in particular.
According to Murray M. Lumpkin, M.D., Deputy Commissioner for International and Special Program “Safety of Chinese Imports: Oversight and Analysis of the Federal Response”, Chinese medical manufacturers comply with Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) inconsistently and to varying degrees depending, in large part, on the organizational structure of the company.
In contrast, drapes made exclusively in the United States are often manufactured at an FDA registered, ISO certified facility. This can mean safe, quality products with shorter lead times and better customer service.
Stay tuned for more tips related to purchasing surgical gowns and drapes, and check out the January/February 2010 issue of Surgical Products to view more responses.