While laparoscopic instruments facilitate minimally invasive procedures that offer a variety of clinical and administrative benefits—faster recovery times, fewer post-operative complications, greater efficiency—they can present a number of challenges for operating room (OR) and central supply staff.
For example, some laparoscopic instruments feature multiple parts, making it challenging and time consuming for central-supply staff to assemble trays and for OR staff to set up and break down equipment.
Due to their complex design, laparoscopic instruments can also be difficult to clean, requiring staff to invest significant time and labor to ensure that they are adequately disinfected.
Furthermore, laparoscopic instrument repairs can be costly and long turnaround times can disrupt surgical scheduling when a surgeon finds that he or she doesn’t have the instruments necessary to perform a case.
Compounding these issues, some hospitals order, stock, clean and manage laparoscopic instruments from a variety of manufacturers to meet the individual needs of each surgeon. This was the case with Mercy Hospital Cadillac in Cadillac, Mich., a non-profit, acute care hospital providing healthcare to more than 80,000 residents across seven counties.