At a time when hospitals and other healthcare facilities are under increasing logistical and financial strain, a new industry-wide report illuminates the potential for saving money and reducing waste and emissions by extending the life of single-use medical devices through reprocessing. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates the commercial reprocessing industry to ensure that devices are as safe and effective as the original devices.
The report was compiled from data collected from members of the Association of Medical Device Reprocessors (AMDR), the global trade association representing the professional medical device reprocessing industry.
Reprocessing saved U.S. hospitals $372 million in 2020 because using reprocessed devices cost 25-40 percent less, and the reduction in medical waste offers further savings, according to the report. AMDR data also indicates that if the reprocessing practices of the top 10 percent performing hospitals were emulated across all hospitals that use reprocessed devices, U.S. hospitals could have saved an additional $2.28 billion a year in 2020. This analysis is based only on existing product offerings and practices, so this number could be larger if more products are reprocessed.
In addition to these savings, the report noted that, in the United States in 2020:
- Over 186 million devices could have been reprocessed nationwide if all healthcare facilities reprocessed at the rate of those in the top 10 percent
- Over 31 million devices labelled for single use were reprocessed
- Nearly 12 million pounds of medical waste were diverted from landfills.