Crothall Healthcare Blog

4 Signs It’s Time to Replace or Upgrade Reprocessing Medical Equipment

Although reprocessing medical equipment can last through many uses, it's essential to look for signs that equipment components need upgrading or replacing.

Various medical facilities and providers across all specialties frequently turn to reprocessing medical equipment, or equipment that a healthcare provider can reuse. Each reprocessing device has a specific classification that determines how the device requires specific cleaning requirements before reuse. Although this type of equipment can last through many uses, healthcare professionals need to watch for signs that reprocessing medical equipment components need upgrading or replacing.

Equipment Is Beyond Its Useful Life

The first sign that reprocessing medical equipment needs replacing or upgrading is that items have reached the end of their useful life span. Certain equipment has specific lifecycles indicated by the manufacturers, and healthcare professionals must follow these timelines to ensure that the equipment works properly and performs its function. Many sterilizers and instrument cleaning devices have a 10-year lifecycle. A cart washer may last for 15 years before it needs replacing.

When a facility invests in reprocessing medical equipment, those responsible for maintenance can create a replacement or upgrade schedule based on the manufacturer’s lifecycle. Continuing to use equipment beyond its life span can result in improper function, potentially threatening patient safety.

Equipment Is in Constant Need of Repair

When healthcare providers rely on reprocessing medical equipment to perform surgical procedures and treatments and diagnose patients, the instruments they need must be ready for use. If the equipment in a facility is in constant need of repair, it won’t be readily available to healthcare providers. As a result, surgical procedures may require postponement until the equipment is available, or a facility may eliminate offering specific procedures due to equipment unavailability.

Equipment Doesn’t Meet Productivity Needs 

A lack of equipment can slow down productivity, forcing patients to wait for treatment. When a facility struggles to keep up with the demands of its providers and patients, those responsible for equipment purchasing may want to increase the required equipment supply.

Equipment Doesn’t Meet Reprocessing Needs of New Surgical Devices

New advancements in surgical technology have transformed the way surgeons perform operations on patients. Robotic surgical instruments are standard in operating rooms across the nation, but the facilities that use them must also have the ability to reprocess them as the equipment’s classification indicates. If a facility invests in a new robotic instruments, but the reprocessing department doesn’t have the necessary cleaning equipment, the surgeons won’t be able to use the robotic instruments safely and patients may be placed at risk.

Crothall Healthcare partners with facilities located around the nation to provide a range of sterile processing solutions. We can assess a facility’s reprocessing equipment and ensure that the supply is sufficient based on the demands and conditions of each instruments.

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