Experiencing How Medical Device Packaging Operates in the ER & OR

Here is another university that is doing wonders in the research on packaging and how they operate in ER and OR environments. Michigan State University’s School of Packaging recently conducted a two-day event described as the nation’s first Healthcare Packaging Immersion Experience for medical device professionals and healthcare practitioners to get "immersed" in how packaging is used during (simulated) ER and OR environments.

Vimal K. Puthiyadath

Analyzing the medical device packaging from the user case scenarios, one may conclude that the differences in the operating room and emergency room environments need to be considered for an efficient medical device package design.

"In an emergency room, precious seconds save lives. They are seconds that cannot be wasted, especially on getting a medical device to work properly or finding out that the packaging on a life-saving device has changed," says Dr. Laura Bix, associate professor at Michigan State University's School of Packaging.

During an MSU program conducted at the Learning and Assessment Center (LAC), attendees discussed how package design plays a role in medication errors and sterile presentation. They also looked at the way design impacts aseptic presentation, the way healthcare professionals inspect the sterile barrier, and how to address some of the problems and optimize package designs.

It is clear that the contexts between ER and OR are quite different and that impacts what's crucial to both environments, and what type of packaging features they are able to use. For instance, in the OR, it may be quite easy for them to look at the sterile barrier and determine whether or not the sterile barrier is intact. In the ER, they just don’t have the time.

It was also observed that the amount of waste that happens as a result of packaging was huge and it has an impact in the US in terms of healthcare dollars spent. Dr. Laura Bix explains medical device package seals also play a central role in the waste issue:

If your seal is welded shut and it forces them to remove the medical product in a way that doesn’t maintain sterility if it flops on the floor or it flops off the sterile field when the seal finally is opened, then you’ve wasted not only the package, but also the product.

I found this website and related information exciting. Did you attend HcPIE? If so, what did you think of it?

Focused on medical packaging design and technology?

Vimal K. Puthiyadath, Biomedical Electronics Engineer

 

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