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Decontamination “must be at the forefront” of medical device innovation

The Institute of Decontamination Sciences (IDSc) recently hosted its first face-to-face annual conference since the pandemic, bringing together a host of top decontamination experts at the Eastside Rooms in Birmingham to discuss the latest hot topics.

High on the agenda included: discussion of training and apprenticeships, decontamination of robotic instruments, sustainability, medical devices regulations – both now and in the future, improving quality and safety in central sterilisation processes, driving efficiency and reducing costs through inventory management, the unidentified patient risks relating to ultrasound probes, vaporised hydrogen peroxide, and much more…

The Clinical Services Journal also interviewed a range of industry experts during the exhibition, which took place alongside the conference, to gain an insight into key issues in decontamination. CSJ spoke to Chris Hill, national sales manager at Getinge, who has been in the sector for around 17 years and originally came from a military background. 

He highlighted the fact that there is some exciting innovation in automation taking place in decontamination. There is a greater focus on quality and output, today, and the sector has come a long way in terms of quality and safety, in his view. 

However, he commented that there is a need to drive awareness of decontamination and bring the discipline to the forefront. Decontamination has been ‘a Cinderella’ service in the basement, historically, but it is “the heart of the hospital”. “It needs to be taken more seriously,” Chris asserted. 

He added that Getinge is investing in education and training and is a big supporter of apprenticeships. Having started his own career as an apprentice, Chris has seen their value first hand, in developing the next generation of skilled individuals in STEM professions – including decontamination science. There is a recognition among AEDs that there is a need to attract “fresh blood” into the industry. Chris is optimistic that the situation is improving, commenting that, although there are some challenges, there are some “really good people coming though”.

He went on to discuss how technology is advancing in sterile services departments and the innovation taking place in the sector – including around artificial intelligence and machine learning. He further highlighted the importance of communicating early on with the manufacturers of pioneering medical device technologies, such as robotics, to ensure decontamination is always at the forefront. SSDs, manufacturers of decontamination solutions and the device manufacturers need to ensure they are “all on the same page”, he concluded. 

This is a stance that CMR Surgical also reaffirmed in a discussion on decontamination of robotic instruments, during the conference programme on the second day. Stuart White, decontamination manager, CMR Surgical, outlined the key factors for success – these included: early customer engagement with the manufacturer, professional education, unambiguous Instructions For Use (IFUs), as well as ongoing support. 

CSJ will also be featuring other video interviews with experts from the IDSc conference and exhibition, and will post further details soon...

 

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Upcoming Events

Infection Prevention & Control

National Conference Centre, Birmingham
23rd - 24th April 2024

ESGE Days 2024, Symposium – ‘Elevating Endoscopy: Inspiring Progress and Innovation’

Estrel Congress Center (room 15), Berlin, Germany
25th April 2024, 16:30 – 17:30 CEST

National DERS and SMART pump conference

BCEC, Birmingham
29th April 2024

Theatres & Decontamination Conference 2024

Coventry Building Society Arena
16th May 2024

The AfPP Roadshow - Birmingham

Millennium Point, Birmingham
18th May 2024

BAUN Summer Educational Event – Essential Urology Skills

Crowne Plaza, Newcastle Stephenson Quarter
6th June 2024

Access the latest issue of Clinical Services Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Clinical Services Journal app from your device's App store

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