fbpx

Reusable Podiatry instruments vs single use Podiatry instruments

Reusable Podiatry instruments vs single use Podiatry instruments

Reusable podiatry instruments vs single use podiatry instruments – a few points to consider

The decision to use single use Podiatry instruments or reusable Podiatry instruments is a difficult decision to make. There are lots of different aspects to consider like the real cost of disposable instruments as well as the real cost of reusable instruments, environmental impact, exposure to risk and how all of these factors tie in to your individual circumstances.

LuxeMED Reusable Podiatry Clipper

For you to make an educated decision, we’ve put together some points for you to consider when you’re deciding whether to invest in reusable instruments or disposable packs. We’re going to cover the following points – feel free to skip ahead to the ones which interest you. There is also a summary at the bottom in case you missed the take-home points!

  1. Cost comparison of single use vs reusable instruments
  2. Environmental considerations of single use instruments
  3. Responsibilities
  4. Making your decision
Single use surgical instruments

For you to make an educated decision, we’ve put together some points for you to consider when you’re deciding whether to invest in reusable instruments or disposable packs. We’re going to cover the following points – feel free to skip ahead to the ones which interest you. There is also a summary at the bottom in case you missed the take-home points!

  1. Cost comparison of single use vs reusable instruments
  2. Environmental considerations of single use instruments
  3. Responsibilities
  4. Making your decision

Cost of Reusable vs Single Use Podiatry Instruments

Cost is usually the primary concern when a Podiatrist is investigating their instrument options. This isn’t a simple calculation so sit back, grab your calculator and notepad, and get ready to crunch the numbers!

Single use instrument cost can be broken down fairly easily – It’s the cost of each set used per patient. There can be other fees involved in their expense, like disposal costs, postage costs and administration time to get the instruments available for your use, but generally this calculation is fairly straight forward.

The cost of Reusable instruments isn’t so clear cut. The obvious expense is the initial cost and also the time cost of resterilising these instruments, however, the cost per use of these instruments is something that becomes dramatically more economic over time. If we calculate the total cost of each option, it becomes clear that reusable instruments are the more economical choice in the long term.

Reuseable vs single use instrument cost
Reusable vs single use instrument cost

As you can see in this longer term instrument costing, over 100 clients, the cost of reusable patients is approaching $4.50 per use, while the single use instruments remains at $13 per use.

Realistically, the cost of single use instruments becomes inefficient after just 15 clients. To put that into everyday terms, if you see 15 clients every day for 15 days, reusable instruments will start to pay for themselves.

Reusable vs single use instrument cost comparison
Reusable vs single use instrument cost comparison

Another thing to consider which applies to both types of instruments is the availability of the instruments. Sterilising takes time and time is a sought after commodity in a busy clinic! On the other hand, you are at the mercy of your supplier’s availability of single use instrument packs if you chose to go that route. If you’re worried by this, its good practice to have a few packs of sterile instruments in storage should the need arise.

Environmental impact

An ethical consideration and another unforeseen cost can be the environmental impact of single use instruments.  Every Podiatrist knows what a pile of used instruments looks like after just one day in the clinic. Imagine a weeks’ worth. Now a month’s worth. What about a year’s worth of instruments all being thrown into landfill. It definitely isn’t very environmentally friendly!

Luckily some portions of, or some types of instruments are recyclable but the onus is on the Podiatrist using single use instrument to find the suppliers who:

  1. Are forthcoming with this information
  2. Supply the types of products that are able to be recycled in your area.

This isn’t usually a primary concern for those using this type of instrument so, unfortunately for the environment, the cost and performance of the single use instruments are the only factors taken into consideration. Ironically, these two factors are generally inversely related to the environmental impact of the single use instruments.

Responsibility

Liability is also outsourced to an extent when using single use instruments. The practitioner shouldn’t be responsible for the sterility of the instruments but you should do your own due diligence in researching the laws and regulations of your governing body.

Making Your Decision

Ultimately the best decision comes down to your personal circumstances. If you don’t have the capital required to buy a set of reusable instruments, you have no decision to make! But always have a health supply of packs to account for extra patients, faulty packs etc. Before you decide on a supplier that fits all of your criteria regarding recyclability and cost effectiveness, asses each supplier’s quality by requesting a sample pack or purchasing a single pack to test. The biggest issues with respect to Podiatry single use instrument packs surrounds the performance of the clippers, the ability to attach the scalpel blade to the scalpel handle in a safe manner and the thickness of the head of the blacks file. If you make sure these points are covered you’re well on your way to finding a good supplier for your single use instruments.

If you can’t stand lower quality instruments, you have the capital to afford reusable instruments and your clinic is intended to be around for more than a few weeks – reusable instruments is the best choice for you! It’s always a good safety net to have a few packs of single use instruments handy though. If you have a few unexpected walk-ins or discover that the sterilisation bag has been compromised, you’ll always be able to treat your clients.