Recognizing the patient care and safety impacts that come from lack of IFU adherence and the inability to clean complex instruments, some manufacturers have taken it upon themselves to collaborate with CS/SPD professionals on product and IFU improvements.
HEINE, a global manufacturer of primary diagnostic instruments, is one company that is putting the CS/SPD at the forefront of its IFU and product development, explains Christian Berling, VP of Sales and Marketing, HEINE USA.
“I have been working at HEINE for over 23 years and hadn’t set foot in a CS/SPD until two years ago,” said Berling. “Up until that point all of our selling was done at the provider level, and what happened to our products after they were used on the patient was the domain of others. Our IFUs focused on how clinical teams prepared our products for the patients. As for cleaning instructions, they contained just a series of compatibility statements but no clear cleaning steps. Some of the greatest challenges that sterile processing professionals face right now are related to the fact that we were not alone in our ignorance of their role.”
According to Berling, HEINE spent about a year collaborating with CS/SPD professionals to understand their work and then leveraged these insights to improve the usability of its product IFUs.
“Our products are used for about three minutes with the patient but then can spend upwards of 45 minutes to two hours in the CS/SPD. We needed to understand the CS/SPD workflow and the challenges faced in order to make our IFUs easier to use and our products easier to clean,” Berling added.
HEINE has taken the process one step further and involved CS/SPD professionals in the design of a new product, the EasyClean LED Laryngoscope Handle. Berling and his team spent time in CS/SPDs, sharing the product prototype with staff members and making adjustments to the product and its IFU based on their feedback.
“I have to say sterile processing teams are some of the most welcoming and professional people I have ever encountered,” said Bering. “They want to do their jobs well and protect the patients but manufacturers historically haven’t been able to provide them with what they need – products that can be easily and effectively cleaned and proper instructions for how to clean them.”