SP: What are the most important characteristics
your customers look for in temperature manage-
Terrell: The primary focus of today's healthcare market is quality, outcomes, and cost. They are focused on providing the best care for their
patients. They are seeking continuous improvement through solutions
that are safe, simple and effective. Since the majority of surgical procedures are now performed on an outpatient basis and last 50 minutes
or less, products must be proactive in nature. Effective prewarming is
crucial since there may not be time in the OR to warm the patient with
active warming measures.
Moore: When evaluating temperature management products, buyers
should look for devices that improve patient outcomes, drive O.R. efficiency, and decrease risk to the patient and the facility. Solutions should be portable, easy-to-use, and help facilities to meet clinical and quality guidelines.
For instance, current protocols may require nursing staff to make multiple
trips to and from a warming cabinet to retrieve warm fluids. These fluids
may be too hot to use immediately without risk of burning the patient, but
will then cool so quickly in the O.R. that they have a cooling rather than
warming effect on the patient. Having a warmer that continuously warms
fluid available in the O.R. provides a solution to these challenges.
Augustine: Safety, effectiveness, cost, and ease of use are the most
important characteristics customers look for in temperature manage-
ment products. Safety means thermal safety as well as avoiding any
unintended negative consequences. Forced-air warming systems have
been linked to higher peri-prosthetic joint infection rates compared
to air-free warming. Forced-air systems also produce waste heat that
carries floor-level particles to the sur-
gical site. Air-free systems do not.
Effectiveness is important because
patient normothermia is surprisingly
difficult to consistently achieve and
most systems are ineffective. Cost
reduction is a critical mission for the entire
healthcare system. Lastly, ease of use for the
clinician is imperative.
SP: How do you expect these
products to evolve in the future?
Augustine: Air-free warming is the future.
It’s inconceivable to continue using
forced-air technologies that knowingly
increase infection risks in orthopedic
implant surgery. Safety, effectiveness, cost,
and ease of use are imperative and air-free
conductive fabric warming is the only technology positioned to meet those needs.
Moore: Existing technologies could provide increased value to facilities by adding functionality, improving ease of use and providing
connectivity to databases and patient records.
Terrell: I am confident as we continue to strive toward better solutions and improved outcomes we will discover new applications incorporating today's more technical nonwoven materials. I am excited to
be a part of an industry with so much opportunity.
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