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Reprocessed medical devices lead to reductions in waste and costs

24 March 2014

Hospitals are simultaneously decreasing costs and enhancing their sustainability through a process which allows items marked as "single use only" to be reused. Single-use medical device reprocessing involves cleaning, testing, repackaging and sterilising medical devices labelled for one use. Reprocessed devices are cheaper, and cut down on the amount of materials sent to landfill.

A US Government Accountability Office report concluded that properly regulated reprocessed devices are as safe and effective as original equipment. Reprocessing one to two percent of all single-use devices could save the US healthcare industry up to $2 billion in supply chain costs the Association of Medical Device Reprocessors has claimed.

Reprocessed devices generally cost about half as much as newly manufactured supplies, saving hospitals a significant amount. Supplies are generally the largest expense for hospitals, with most ending up as rubbish. In the US and EU, reprocessing plants must implement strict checks and safety standards for all reprocessed devices.

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