10th May 2016
by Edward Sheppard

Our reason for being

Our expertise in delivering innovative products to the clinician often begins with their question, ‘Do you do…?’

These are the three most important words we hear from our customers.

Why? Because this gives us an idea about what the market for single-use instruments in is still searching for.

We may already be able to answer yes; for instance, the DTR Medical single-use Ophthalmic range and our Ear Endoscopy suction instruments launched as a result of an earlier discussion that we noted.

Listening to customers is the best way of innovating new products that are likely to be successful.

Why do you ask?

When DTR Medical develops a new product, we take the initial question and turn it into an opportunity. We always need to understand the reasons to respond effectively. It is sufficient for some to source an available line from another medical device manufacturer, but this is not the right approach for us.

Replacing a re-usable surgical instrument, designed decades ago, where the current equipment has been on trays for many years, rarely give surgeons what they want today.

For instance, when we were asked to introduce Tibbs Arterial Cannula, the feedback from theatres showed a demand for four variants; Large Cone & Olive, Small Cone & Olive. Most trays had this selection which covered most procedures. On further investigation the need for a Micro Olive was significant and there was also reasonable interest in two Extra Large Cones.

The original requirement was a straightforward replacement of a set of difficult to clean curved lumen instruments, but when the customers gave it more thought, new potential emerged.

The result is DTR Medical now offers the widest range of sterile single-use Tibbs Arterial and Flushing Cannula and the success has been worldwide.

What is most important?

Commonly, we have to explore with clinicians exactly what is needed and not simply what a tray typically contains.

There are many patterns and sizes of Ear Specula including two very similar Oval patterns often used in paediatrics. For an effective single-use range made in quantities, there is a need to streamline production and use processes that are cost effective alternatives to re-usable manufacturing in small numbers.

The team approached many ENT departments to check that these two patterns could be merged into one and only the widely used sizes were necessary. The result is the successful Oval Ear Specula used widely across the UK NHS by most hospitals.

DTR Medical now takes this approach with all large instrument ranges to work out what pattern and sizes really matter.

Can you replicate our current reusable tray?

Of course we can convert your reusable procedure tray to single-use, but we like to determine first if this is the right solution.

Traditionally, instrument trays have been created by surgical teams over the years and eventually some items have a heritage no one can remember.

Our preference is to look at the equipment that has the greatest need to become single-use and then offer these in the highest quality and individually packed; suction handles like Frazier Suction Handles and fine scissors like Iris or Steven Tenotomy are good examples where easy blockage or bluntness are good reasons to convert.

Trays with many artery forceps, towel clips, retractors and larger scissors are less suitable for wholesale conversion to single-use. It is rare everything is used and these instruments are robust, relatively easy to clean and keep in good working condition.

The critical single-use instruments must be the highest quality and these can be effectively combined with either any tray to suit the departmental needs.

Have we got it right?

We are not surgeons, therefore, it is vital our customers give their approval to our instruments before we launch a new product.

The answer of course varies but nearly always we learn about an improvement we can build into our final specification. Shape, sharpness, length, diameter strength and many other factors determine what we finally introduce.

Even post marketing, it is important we continue to listen. Yes, we have an obligation and a medical device manufacturer, but we sometimes find minor tweaks make all the difference.

For instance, our Bonney Polyp Forceps benefit from a customer concern that jaws were too wide for use in Gynaecology and Colposcopy procedures. Consequently, the specification on the jaw size has been tightened to give the clinical team exactly what they need; a sterile single-use instrument that is fit for purpose and consistent every time.

Why we offer over 700 products?

The DTR Medical product range features over 700 items in six speciality catalogues including ENT & MAXFAX, Gynaecology, Ophthalmics, General Surgery, Orthopaedics

Every single line is the result of the question ”Do you do?”