17th February 2020
by Edward Sheppard

With the increasing recognition of causative influence of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) in a range of cancers, alongside the realisation that the time between referral to actual diagnosis needs to be shortened to improve patient outcomes.

This has led to an increase in a Value-Based Healthcare approach with the objective of improving procedure quality, patient safety and cost savings, as well as better biopsy practice as an obvious area for development.


New Approaches in Oral Biopsy

Our Sterile Single-use Oral Biopsy Forceps are proven to reduce the time taken to diagnose cancer, or any other abnormality in the Oral and Laryngeal mucosa. Mr Iain J Nixon, ENT Consultant at the University of Edinburgh, undertook extensive research into the idea that Oral Biopsies can be taken during Outpatient appointments without the need for general anaesthetic, something he believes to carry a range of benefits.

As Mr Nixon expresses in his poster presented at the joint ENT Scotland & NEOS Summer Meeting, “biopsy performed during outpatient appointment under local anaesthetic is a safe, effective and time efficient way to provide rapid diagnosis”.  There are significant cost savings with this practice; the Scottish Health Technologies Group predict savings in excess of £400,000 over 5 years for NHS Scotland alone. These savings are projected to come from initial investments in new laryngoscopes, imaging stack and peripheral imaging equipment. Furthermore, with the cost of general anaesthetic for Oral Biopsies coming to an average sum of £1,000, this alternative has the potential to save the wider NHS large amounts of money.

An important advantage of Outpatient samples being taken is the improved diagnosis time, with this procedure leading to rapid results; 11 days earlier than Inpatient procedures. This increases the ability for NHS targets to be met by significantly reducing the time between urgent cancer referral and treatment.  Due to the high quality of our instruments, no complications were reported when used in Mr Nixon’s study, making this practice both safe and effective. The full text can be found on the our website’s news section, titled ‘Rapid Diagnosis & Significant Savings’.

Other Clinicians across the UK are recognising these trends and we are now finding many are seeking new biopsy instrument development, in order to provide safe and more effective samples that enable the Pathology laboratory to achieve first-time rapid results.


Better Cervical Biopsies Lead the Way

Traditional Biopsy Punches have been the mainstay for taking cervical biopsies, but blunt instruments that are not sharpened regularly lead to inadequate samples that the Pathology laboratory cannot use to provide an effective diagnosis. This results in patients being recalled a few months later with the extra trauma and worry this creates, along with an additional burden on the clinical staff.

Since mid-2018, there has been a noticeable change with a growing number of hospitals now using our Sterile Single-use Cervical Rotating Biopsy Punch as their first-choice instrument instead of the traditional reusable alternatives. Colposcopy clinics across the UK report that Pathology laboratories are now able to provide rapid diagnosis, usually with the first samples provided.

Clinicians are regularly reporting high levels of success when using our Biopsy Punch. A recent analysis of 159 reports (post market surveillance and evaluation trial data since 2018) showed that overall there has been an 87% positive response from Clinicians and Consultants across the UK.

Most striking was that 88% of Colposcopists would recommend the product to a colleague. Keeping Value-Based Healthcare in mind, the Cervical Rotating Biopsy Punch has allowed 95% of Clinicians to take an average of 2 biopsies successfully first time.  This eliminates any additional incurred costs from rejects and ensures a quality biopsy is always taken successfully. Finally, our questionnaires found 83% of biopsies taken were described as either good or very good meaning improved Pathology results first time. This resulted in a reduction in patient recalls and in turn un-due stress to the patients generating increased capacity to clinics. Ultimately improving value in a clinical, functional and technological way.


The Future of Biopsies

Clinicians from other fields have recognised the value of having optimum first-time sharpness from their Biopsy devices and are identifying new areas where this approach can be used. Engineering instruments using new design and manufacturing processes is the future and will help a wide number of specialties achieve the cost-effective samplings and rapid results that are now being seen in the oral and cervical fields.

As a company we fully understand the growing strain and pressures on our National Health Service. Therefore, adapting a focus on supporting your hospitals and clinics through continuing to deliver Single-use instruments that consistently produce efficient and accurate health outcomes is at the forefront of our mission.

For more information please contact marketing@dtrmedical.com.