Number one problem for medical device providers and manufacturers
Written by George Fitzgerald
In today’s world, microcomputers smaller than a postage stamp store gigabits of information and communicate at 100’s of megabytes. Flat screen TV’s with theatre-quality images hang on walls at home.
Electric cars exceed mpg’s never thought possible and airplanes cross oceans in mere hours. Technology in the health care field is no exception, making quantum leaps in life saving medicine and equipment capabilities that work miracles and transform lives.
But with all these innovations, one hospital director discovered that medical supplies were being opened using a device that’s been around for 70 years! The device has a very sharp blade that if not used correctly damages expensive medical supplies.
“Our supply chain teams were opening medical equipment and sterile supplies with a box cutter or in many cases a surgical scalpel – and expensive items were getting damaged,” said George Fitzgerald, Director of Information Systems for a national hospital chain. “Once the seal is broken on medical supplies, the product cannot be used. Cutting into the content of just one case of simple things like $10 bandages packed in 5-piece lots costs hundreds of dollars. We call that ‘shrinkage.’ I call it waste.” After an extensive review of available solutions, Fitzgerald found a company that claimed they had developed a knife that anyone, regardless of skill or experience, could open any box without damaging the contents. He set up a meeting with expectations of seeing just “a lot of hot air.”
“The sales rep showed me a box and said, ‘I have a balloon inside this box that has been blown up to be bigger than the box, and I’d like you to cut open the box using our newest product, the Easy Cut 4500,’” Fitzgerald said. “As I completed the third cut, the box sprang open and the balloon was still intact! I couldn’t believe it, I remarked that it was like seeing fire for the first time! I knew this was the tool for our organization, as product would be opened and unpacked without ANY loss.” “Shrinkage” was the focus of this search; however, employee safety was also critical, according to Fitzgerald. Standard knives offer no protection from painful accidents.
He said he was impressed with the safety features the Easy Cut knife provided. “In the blink of an eye, the blade retracts into its handle, eliminating painful accidents,” he said. “I learned that the president of ADCO witnessed an accident where an employee severed an artery while simply doing her job – and that was the beginning of their company’s development of a better box cutter. Indeed, when I questioned our Supply Chain Team Members, all reported accidental box cutter horror stories.” No one needs or wants colleagues to experience painful episodes and downtime. Nor do companies want the expense of damaged product. “ADCO Industries offers solutions to mitigate these risks,” Fitzgerald said. “After thorough reviews and testing, we were delighted to employ ADCO Industries Easy Cut products.”