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Buying Smart: Get the Most from Your Budget with These End-of-Year Tips for Stocking Up on Accessories

Does your department find itself in “use it or lose it” mode at the end of the budget year? If your hospital is like many others, your department may see less money next year if you don’t spend all of this year’s allotment. That makes the end of the year an opportune time to stock up on the clinical accessories you always need. Here are three ways to use your remaining budget dollars for best advantage

Female patient in the ward

Make sure you’re ready for a COVID-19 surge

Since new Covid-19 variants continue to emerge, it makes sense to prepare by applying year-end funds to accessories you’ll use up quickly in the event of a surge. The pandemic makes infection control more important than ever, and accessories that help keep staff and patients safe should be top-of-mind. These include gloves, disposable scrubs, face masks, face shields and other personal protective equipment. Also essential are cables and leads for SpO2 devices, water traps, and ventilator accessories including exhalation valves and filters.

Discover savings with disposables

If you compare annual purchase expenditures alone, reusable accessories may look like the better bargain. But that ignores the significant labor and material costs of the cleaning and reprocessing costs those supplies require.

This was demonstrated in a survey reported by Infection Control Today, which looked at sterilization and infection-control practices and costs. Among 100 clinicians who responded to the survey, 70% worked at facilities that had recycling programs for disposables consumed in operating rooms. Fifty-one percent said it took more than 90 minutes to clean, process, and sterilize an instrument set at their facility; 32% said 61-90 minutes, and 10% said 31-60 minutes. 1

Significantly, the majority reported seeing evidence of inadequate processing or sterilization. For example, 89% said they has seen material residue on cannulated implants or instruments. This suggest that reusables carry more risk of cross-contamination, surgical site infections, and healthcare-associated infections than single-use supplies, which are dependably sterile inside their packaging.

Covid-19 accelerated an already existing trend toward disposable supplies and single-use devices. Year’s end is a good time to allocate remaining budget dollars toward disposables, which are safer for patients and staff and eliminate the costs of reprocessing and repair.

Consider quality first

Accessories straight from the device manufacturer are specifically designed to support the equipment and optimize its performance. This provides confidence that the items are reliable and safe to use. OEM accessories may cost more initially, but they are a better investment in the long run.

Make every budget dollar do more

Investing your department’s year-end dollars wisely is not as challenging as it might appear. You can make it easier by looking beyond big-ticket items. Clinical accessories are also integral to your department’s performance and care quality. Smart accessories buying can do much to ensure that every dollar is spent well, while securing your department’s crucial funding for the year ahead.

References

  1. https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/clinical-and-economic-case-sterile-disposable-instruments-and-implants
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