Features  |   April 2018
Reusable vs. Disposable equipment: Procurement Considerations
Author Affiliations
  • Smitha Warrier, M.D.
    ASA Task Force on Environmental Sustainability
  • Harriet W. Hopf, M.D., FUHM
    ASA Task Force on Environmental Sustainability
Article Information
Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems / Infectious Disease / Patient Safety / Technology / Equipment / Monitoring / Features
Features   |   April 2018
Reusable vs. Disposable equipment: Procurement Considerations
ASA Monitor 4 2018, Vol.82, 22-24.
ASA Monitor 4 2018, Vol.82, 22-24.
“Think before you buy.” That seems easy for clothes or bottled water, but what about medical equipment? We as physicians have very little education in the decision-making that goes into procurement of medical equipment. There has been an ongoing debate in health care regarding reusable versus single-use (disposable) equipment, with multiple factors weighing on each side. As providers and users of these products, we need to learn more and involve ourselves with our administrators and management to advocate for more conscious purchasing. Multiple factors influence the decision-making process for procurement of reusable versus disposable equipment, including cost and work flow, environmental impact, safety profile and efficiency. While these are major factors that should frame the discussion for what equipment best fits the needs of each individual institution, decisions are often driven by convenience and resistance to change in work flow, rather than by cost, impact and safety. Here we will review the evidence that suggests, in most cases, reusable equipment and supplies are a more environmentally sustainable and cost-effective choice.
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