Despite its regular use by clinical departments, the complexity of reprocessing medical instruments is often underestimated.
All stages involved take considerable time and involve different people, including:
- Counting and checking
- Re-working returns
- Instrument damage
These processes can lead to delays in theatre lists and appointments, creating extra administration and distress to patients.
Research involving 861 UK hospital nurses found that each nurse spends an average of four hours a week searching for medication, patient records, and medical devices – the equivalent of around 23 days a year of lost time. About 17 minutes per day of this time is for medical devices, costing the NHS over £350 million per annum2.
1 GS1 & Nursing Standard, May 2010, Survey of 861 UK Hospital Nurses
2 GS1 & Nursing Standard, May 2010, Survey of 861 UK Hospital Nurses