Archives for November 2012

Glove Dispensers: Increasing Utilization Of Exam Gloves

Exam gloves are frequently used in medical facilities every day. Many medical professionals would agree that by having gloves organized and easily accessible really makes a difference in exam rooms.

Disposable exam gloves (also known as medical gloves) are used for a wide variety of procedures and applications throughout the medical field. There are many different types of exam gloves, the most commonly used are latex, non-latex, neoprene, nitrile and vinyl gloves. It’s important for your medical personnel to wear exam gloves to prevent the spread of infection and germs.

Exam glove dispensers are an efficient way to store exam glove boxes. These units allow physicians and medical staff to have easy access to them. Glove dispensers can be placed on a tabletop, wall mounted or mounted on glass surfaces using suction cups. Increasing glove utilization throughout your facility will keep your facility compliant with established safety guidelines.

Glove dispensers come in a variety of options. Many are constructed of acrylic, which is a durable material and perfect for areas of heavy traffic. Many are made with a clear acrylic allowing you to visibly see the supplies inside. (Things are always used more when they are visibly stored.) Glove dispensers are offered in two, three and four-glove box dispensers.

Remember, exam gloves are important and will protect hands from potentially harmful substances and the spread of germs. Glove dispensers will allow you to organize and increase utilization of these exam gloves. Let us know if you have any questions regarding this post!

How To Keep Supplies Organized In Your Exam Rooms

Keeping examination rooms organized is very important in any hospital, clinic, or medical facility. If you think about it, exam rooms typically store a variety of items, such as exam gloves, face masks, exam gowns, tissues, paper towel, hand sanitizer, etc. Best practices for organization is to place dispensers and organizers in all exam rooms, so these supplies can have a proper storage unit.

Physicians often see patients with a variety of symptoms and diseases throughout the course of a day. It is recommended to have tissues, gloves, hand sanitizer and face masks in exam rooms to ensure a clean and safe environment for both medical staff and patients.

By placing dispensers on tabletops or by mounting to the wall, it will keep items inside the dispensers organized and accessible. Items that are easily accessible such as gloves, face masks and paper towels, can reduce time and increase efficiency during a patient’s visit. Dispensers that are placed with easy accessibility will generally be utilized more by medical staff. Many of these organizers are designed with a clear acrylic, which will make items inside more visible.

Most of our dispensers are constructed of durable acrylic, which is great for areas of your facility with heavy traffic. These products are not only designed for exam rooms, but anywhere in your facility that needs items organized and accessible. The children’s hygiene center is a unit designed for a pediatric room. This colorful organizer holds one box of face masks, one box of tissues and a bottle of hand sanitizer. It also comes with a sign holder and informational sign that illustrates the importance of germ prevention.

Many medical professionals will agree that by keeping an organized examination room you will ultimately increase organization and efficiency within your facility. If you have any questions or comments regarding this post, please let us know below.

Why Your Surgical Inventory Count Is So Important

Oftentimes surgical instruments can be accidentally thrown away, misplaced or lost on the operating room floor. In worst case, surgical instruments can be accidentally left behind inside a patient’s body following a surgery. Many believe that by implementing a thorough surgical inventory count process you will decrease reported foreign object (RFO) findings inside patients and will also reduce cost for lost inventory in the operating room.

Not only can retained surgical instruments risk your patient’s safety but it also runs the possibility of costing your medical facility a lot of money in the long term.

By establishing required inventory count guidelines in your facility you can eliminate the possibility of leaving surgical instruments behind. Hospitals and medical facilities will make their operating rooms safer for patients, more productive for surgeons, nurses and OR management and will produce less risk for hospital administrators. Depending on your facility’s inventory system, it is always important to keep a few basic rules in mind.

  • Initial count of surgical tools should match your final count.
  • Counting practices should be standardized across all operating rooms within a facility.
  • It is common that new tools can be added to a surgery, in which case these tools should be added to the count sheet or tracking system for final count purposes.
  • The OR team should know who is performing the inventory count prior to the start of surgery. It is typically performed by two or more people (circulator nurse, scrub nurse, technician, etc.) to ensure accuracy.
  • The surgery should not be reported as complete until the final inventory count is done and all surgical tools are accounted for.

There are many products that will assist in retrieving lost tools that may have been dropped on the floor. For example, the operating room attractor magnet can be used to easily pick up metal tools. This device can be very useful in the operating room since many surgical tools, such as suture needles and tips, can be extremely small in size and difficult to find. The operating room attractor magnet can pick up these objects from the operating floor or from underneath objects using its high lifting capacity of ferrous metal.

Standardized counting practices of your OR’s surgical tools will be beneficial to both the medical facility and patients. If you have any questions or comments regarding the importance of your surgical inventory count in the OR, please let us know below.

Hospitals Face Liability For Lost Surgical Tools

Hospitals today are presented with problems concerning lost and retained surgical tools, taking place in their operating rooms.

These problems are caused by retained surgical instruments in the operating room, which is when a surgical tool is accidentally left behind inside a patient’s body during surgery. Another problem is the loss of surgical tools in the operating room, whether they’re dropped on the floor or accidentally thrown in the trash.

These problems are occurring for several possible reasons. Many hospitals find that these incidences usually are connected to human error. Operating rooms are known to be very busy environments which can cause distractions, miscommunication and stress to increase productivity. A standardized inventory count process should be enforced among all operating rooms, which involves counting all surgical instruments before and after all procedures. When these guidelines are neglected, the patient’s safety is at risk.

Surgical teams rely on the designated personnel to accurately process and record the inventory count. When counts are inconsistent, the operating room staff must perform a recount and if they are unable to settle the counts, they must alert the surgeon right away and start the search process. If the counts remain unresolved, an x-ray is to be taken of the patient. When this process is not done properly, the surgical team is held responsible.

These types of medical errors can lead to legal claims which can result in substantial litigation and hospital costs. Retained surgical instruments also present the issue that the patient will most likely require another surgery to remove the item, which will only add to this cost. Also, when surgical instruments are lost, the hospital needs to purchase replacement tools. Not only are these preventable medical errors costly, they take up valuable time within an operating room’s tight schedule.

It is important for hospitals to be aware of the possible liability issues that can occur when surgical instruments are lost. If you have any questions or comments regarding this topic, please let us know below.

Retained Surgical Instruments In The Operating Room

A retained surgical instrument simply means that a surgical item was accidentally left behind in a patient’s body during surgery. Such incidences are suspected to be commonly under reported and are considered to be a preventable medical error.

What types of surgical instruments are being left behind? The list of possible retained surgical instruments is large including needles, clamps, scalpels, sponges, towels, scissors, tweezers, forceps, scopes, measuring devices, suction tips and tubes, etc. A surgeon is estimated to use between 250-300 surgical tools throughout a surgery. This number can drastically increase depending on the type of surgery and length of surgery time.

The contributing factors leading to the misplacement of surgical tools left behind inside a patient’s body can vary. Many consider that human factors such as fatigue for medical staff, chaotic environments and lack of tools for the inventory process have directly resulted in the loss of expensive surgical tools.

The effect of losing a surgical instrument in a patient’s body during surgery can range from essentially harmless to life threatening. Patients can experience infections, punctured organs and blood vessels, additional surgeries and other medical complications. The effect that this type of incident can have on a hospital or healthcare facility can be very serious. This can include possible legal ramifications or a high cost in lost equipment.

There are many products that will help assist your staff in retrieving lost tools. Surgeons, nurses and technicians oftentimes use radiopaque sponges and towels. Radiopaque items can be detected by an x-ray, which presents the OR team another way of detecting lost surgical items inside a patient’s body.

Remember that leaving behind surgical tools in a patient’s body after surgery can be prevented by implementing extra safety precautions throughout your facility. If you have any questions or comments about retained surgical instruments, please let us know below!

X-Ray Aprons: Why The Long Wait?

Any medical professional who may be exposed to radiation is recommended to wear the proper attire for protection.  Prolonged exposure to x-rays has been linked to an increased chance of developing various types of harmful effects.  X-ray aprons are often utilized to reduce exposure to both patients and medical personnel.

So, why is there a 2-3 week wait time for x-ray aprons?  We have outlined a few reasons behind this long wait and even a way to get your x-ray aprons faster.

A majority of our aprons are custom made.  This means your apron is made after you have placed your order.  Universal Medical does not keep most aprons in-stock, because they are shipped directly from the manufacturer to customer.

Since most of our aprons are custom made, this gives you the ability to select your own size, color and style to fit both patients and medical personnel.  The aprons are also available for letter embroidery to add a personal touch on your apparel.

So what if you don’t have 2-3 weeks to wait?  The Quick Ship collection may be the perfect option for you.  The quick ship styles are offered in a Lead Flex Guard Apron and a Lead LapGuard Apron, which are only available in sapphire blue and cannot be embroidered. Shipping time is usually between 1-2 business days, serving those who need x-ray aprons quickly. 

Another important factor to point out is that all of our x-ray aprons have a standard protection level of 0.5 mm Pb.  Therefore depending on which style x-ray apron you select, it holds the equivalent protection level needed.

Remember, if you’re not wearing the proper protection while being exposed to direct or scatter radiation, you may experience long term damage to your body.  We hope this post helps your decision when determining which x-ray apron is best for you, keeping in mind your time restraints and style preferences.

The Components Of Your Carbon Dioxide Laser System

The carbon dioxide laser is one of the oldest and most common types of lasers. This laser system is considered a gas laser that uses a mixture of gases as the active medium. The gas mixture is primarily composed of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen, hydrogen and helium.

So, how does a CO2 laser work? Since this laser is a gas laser, electricity runs through a gas tube, ultimately creating more energy to produce a powerful source of light. This laser beam is powerful enough to cut or destroy certain materials.

This versatile laser has many therapeutic and aesthetic applications. Conditions that have been proved to respond positively to CO2 lasers include dermatofibroma, sebaceous hyperplasia, rhinophyma, angiofibroma, scar treatment, keloid, skin cancer and neurofibroma. Additionally, there are many aesthetic applications that use CO2 lasers such as, perioral wrinkles, acne scars, facial resurfacing and dyschromias.

Safety precautions should be taken when working around CO2 lasers. The unprotected human eye is extremely sensitive to laser radiation and direct or reflected laser beams can cause permanent damage or sometimes vision loss. For both medical personnel and patients, CO2 laser safety glasses should be worn at all times during the laser treatment. By appropriately matching your CO2 laser to your laser glasses you can ensure that your staff will be fully protected. Not only is protective eyewear a huge safety component, it is a requirement that all medical personnel wear laser safety glasses when working around high-power Class 3B and Class 4 lasers in healthcare. This requirement is a safety regulation that has been established by ANSI (American National Standards Institute), specifically following ANSI Z136.3.

The carbon dioxide laser is an essential tool for many industries and has been increasingly used in surgical procedures. Following proper safety regulations and use will make for a better workplace around lasers. If you have any questions or comments about this post, please let us know below!

The Environmentally Friendly Radiation Protection Apron

Lead free aprons are the environmentally friendly option for radiation protection. Lead free aprons are made with environmentally friendly materials and are easily disposable.

Lead has been the leading material utilized in radiation protection aprons for many decades. Many hospitals, medical centers and dentist offices continue to use this protective apron for many procedures and x-rays. The problem arises when it’s time for facilities to discard these lead aprons. Many consider the process of disposing lead aprons complicated and time consuming.

It is illegal to discard lead aprons into landfills, so you can’t just throw them in the trash. They are considered hazardous waste and must be thrown away following your local regulations. Discarding lead aprons can be costly. Most facilities have to find lead apron programs for proper removal.  However, the alternative lead free apron is disposable in your routine trash removal.

While lead continues to be used for radiation protection apparel, it’s not the only element effective against harmful radiation. Our lead free aprons incorporate a mix of attenuating materials and maintain a standard level of 0.5 mm Pb protection.

Our lead free aprons are environmentally friendly because the materials used for radiation protection are non-pollutant. In contrast, since lead is a heavy metal, improperly throwing away lead aprons can be very harmful to the environment.

Why not consider the environmentally friendly, easily disposable option to compliment your existing radiation protection apparel? We hope this post explains the benefits lead free aprons have on the environment.  If you have any questions or comments regarding this post, please let us know below!

What You Should Know About Your Helium Neon Laser

Your Helium Neon laser (HeNe Laser) has many medical and scientific purposes. This laser system was invented in the early 1960’s by a scientist by the name of Ali Javan. It is considered to be the first laser to emit a continuous laser beam. An interesting feature is that the emitting laser can be started by an electric discharge, rather than the intense discharge of particles from a flash lamp.

This laser system is known as one of the most common gas lasers, using a mixture between two gases, helium and neon. When excited, this mixture transforms the spontaneous emission into a stimulation laser light emission. HeNe lasers have been used in many applications such as fluid dynamics research and the treatments of coronary artery disease, diabetes and hypertension. It also has purpose in chemical research such as laser induced photochemistry and nonlinear spectroscopy.

Among all applications and procedures using the Helium Neon laser, there should be strict laser safety regulations in place. If you’re not sure of the laser safety regulations in your facility, consult with your laser safety officer (LSO) who will be able to provide you with information. ANSI ZI136.3 “Safe Use of Lasers in Health Care” provides guidance for safe use of lasers for medicine, diagnostic, cosmetic, preventative and therapeutic applications. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also have laser safety guidelines to help health care facilities keep their medical staff and patients safe. Helium Neon Laser Glasses and goggles will help your facility stay in compliance with ANSI standards and OSHA regulations.

The Helium Neon laser system is an essential tool for many medical treatments. Direct or reflected laser exposure to the eye can result in permanent damage. Certain safety measures should always be taken into consideration when working with high powered laser systems. If you have any questions or comments regarding this post, please let us know below!

The Facts On Argon Laser Systems

The Argon laser is a unique laser system, as it uses a noble gas as the active medium. This laser was invented in 1964 and was designed to emit a blue/green colored light which is absorbed by hemoglobin in the blood cells. The heat allows the laser to close off ruptured blood cells.

The argon laser is used in a number of medical applications which include treatments for various eye conditions, such as glaucoma and diabetic eye disease. Many dermatologists have used argon lasers to treat ulcers, lesions and polyps. Other medical applications include photocoagulation and many ophthalmologic procedures. The advantage of using an argon laser for these applications is due to the fact that it has the ability to target a precise area.

There are many safety measures that must be considered when working around an argon laser. To start, eye protection is essential. Medical personnel and patients must wear proper argon laser glasses during all argon laser procedures. All laser safety glasses or goggles must directly correlate with the operating laser. This can easily be done by knowing the type of laser you are working with and the wavelength range that is emitted from the laser. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) provides guidance for individuals who work with high power Class 3B or Class 4 lasers and laser systems in health care. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration require staff to wear laser safety glasses or goggles when operating or around Class 3B or Class 4 lasers.

It is important to have a controlled area for laser procedures along with having the ability to consult with your LSO (Laser Safety Officer) with any laser safety questions you have. Another safety precaution is to properly hang warning and safety signs throughout the controlled area. These signs should be easy to read, and posted near the entrance of the area.

Laser safety around high power laser systems is imperative and should be exercised when working with your argon laser. Laser eye exposure can cause permanent damage, but is easily prevented with appropriate safety measures.