Jonathan Warner

Business Development Manager, Medsmart Solutions

Q: Why should I switch from my reusable surgical power equipment?

A: There are many advantages but the most notable is the cost savings and the fact that this cost saving is achieved without compromising the quality of the tools. A hospital may need to spend tens of thousands of pounds as a capital investment of power tools. After this purchase the costs continue to escalate with the obvious re-sterilisation costs and the problems associated with having to deal with an offsite method of sterilisation, the maintenance costs of the tools, the potential for tool failure, and the inevitable degradation of the tools leading to new ones having to be purchased. Our SmartPower™ disposable power tools provide a hugely lower cost option whilst no compromise is offered on the power delivery and quality of the tools for the surgeon.

Q: What issues can arise from offsite sterilisation centre?

A: An independent report by the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, England detailed these issues succinctly in a study called “Offsite theatre sterile surgical units – a clinical risk?” but to summarise these findings it was not “frequent” for torn sterile packaging to be returned from central supply. There are also transport and logistics issues and the costs this incurs, delays during the procedure whilst awaiting a back up set to come and the cancelled operations that arise as a result of this. No surgeon in the study made a positive comment on offsite sterilisation.

Q: Do single use disposable power tools benefit both small and large hospitals?

A: Both small hospitals that may only do a small number of surgeries and larger hospitals that do many procedures benefit greatly from our SmartPower™ single use disposable power tools. A small hospital with fewer procedures will no longer have to justify the high cost of the initial purchase of reusable power tools for the few procedures they do and larger hospitals that do many procedures inevitability suffer from quicker degradation of tools so have the large capital outlay on a more regular basis.

Q: Are the cost savings in the power tools themselves not lost in the purchase of the equipment required to run the tools?

A: No. Whilst the cost of the SmartPower™ consoles required to run the tools are nominally higher than the tools themselves this is truly a one-off cost as the power supply is then always on hand and can simply be cleaned with a sterile wipe at the end of the procedure ready for the next operation. This cost is still far less than the purchase a new reusable system and we as a company can always work out an arrangement that best suits the hospitals needs, dependant on usage.

Q: What about the blades, drills and reamers of other manufacturers being used in your tools?

A: Unfortunately in such a market where blade and drill manufacturers customise their product with a specialised chuck or to only accept a certain blade, we cannot provide a perfect solution to this, as no other company can unfortunately. What we do provide is chuck adaptors for all the major manufacturers and washers to also take the saw blades of these manufacturers, allowing our tools to be as versatile as possible. Our reamers are supplied to take 99% of all reamers available on the market. We can supply a full range of SmartPower™ pre-sterile double packed blades to work with our tools or indeed any other manufacturer’s tools.

Q: What are the advantages of having a single-use tool available as a backup?

A: Often what happens is that once a reusable power tools has suffered a fault it is then inadvertently put away as the backup set without anyone remembering that it is faulty. A situation will then arise where a backup set is called for when the main set fails and this backup set is also faulty. Having our SmartPower™ single-use system in place, even just as a backup, has many advantages. All hospitals experience down-time with relation to reusable equipment, whether it be a battery running out, a loss of a chuck key or waiting for equipment to cool down. Having a single-use disposable tool as a backup can save a lot of time and money. All you have to do is peel open the blister pack, put on a blade and plug it in.

Q: Is it ecologically justifiable to warrant throwing away such a well-engineered tool after just one use?

A: You can incinerate or grind up single use tools without fear of toxic chemicals like battery acid. Single-use saws, drills and reamers are probably the most ecologically safe powered surgical devices available. As a company we can work out with the hospital a method of collection for ecologically safe disposal.