New business opportunities in ”Hygiene for Health”
INTERREG IIIA-Projekt 2-rmn-II-2=39
The adequate reprocessing of reusable medical instruments by external service enterprises bears a huge potential on the market. The quality of reprocessing has to meet stringent regulations that aim to prevent the transmission of infectious agents and to ensure safety for patients and staff.
Minimally invasive instruments, such as e.g. flexible endoscopes are exceptionally sophisticated to reprocess. Further more the high operating costs for the reprocessing of medical devices are hardly affordable for hospitals and even less for medical practises. The outsourcing of the instrument reprocessing allows medical facilities to concentrate on their core competencies.
The project endorsed the commissioning of external service providers for the reprocessing of medical devices. A big market in this sector is open for small and medium sized enterprises. The outsourcing of reprocessing services can result in an improvement of hygiene and quality as well as in a reduction of expenses for the medical facilities.
The project supported the foundation of new enterprises and the expansion of existing companies in this sector by the transfer of knowledge.
To improve education and for provision of detailed technical information an internet platform that includes a database was established (www.hygiene-for-health.de). Relevant information on different aspects, i.e. laws to consider, harmonized standards, directives and guidelines as well as data about reprocessing procedures, usable machinery and chemicals were compiled.
In parallel the project conducted research in different fields to support the scientific knowledge of companies doing in reprocessing services. For example studies attended new reprocessing procedures. Other studies investigated the different national test procedures that are used for the performance testing of washer/disinfectors. In cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences Niederrhein a process challenging device for hollow instruments was engineered and analysed using computation fluid dynamics that can be used by the companies to improve cleaning procedures. These research activities helped companies to ensure highest level quality.
We thank the Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungvereinigungen e.V. (AiF) (Association of Industrial Research Organisations) for funding the project INTERREG IIIA-Projekt 2-rmn-II-2=39 through a financial support by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs.
The research report is available on request from FRT.