Reusable Catheter Interface Cables
What do you do with cables after an electrophysiology procedure? Throw them away and buy new ones at full price? Send them to the Sterile Processing Department (SPD) for reprocessing? Innovative Health offers an alternative: Reprocessing cables through Innovative Health. Our facilities and our reprocessing process is designed for single-use devices, which means that there are strict controls on things like keeping track of the number of uses and function testing every device – controls that are not in place in the typical SPD. In fact, more and more of our hospital partners are sending in their cables, along with the EP catheters and other devices from EP procedures.
...more and more of our hospital partners are sending in their cables, along with the EP catheters and other devices from EP procedures.
Reusable interface cables are designed to connect a treatment catheter (EP or DUC/ICE) with a control system. Cables are designed for specific purposes and to work with specific devices. Cables are used to link the catheter to the appropriate console during an EP study. Most (but not all!) catheters are reusable, which means they come with instructions from the original manufacturer as to how they should be reprocessed after use. The manufacturer will also indicate how many times the catheter can be used, before it needs to be discarded (anywhere from 1 to 20 times). Hospitals that reprocess their EP cables through the hospitals SPD face several challenges:
A Sterile Processing Department is usually not keeping track of how many times a cable is reprocessed – it is simply not a part of most SPDs’ way of operating. Frequently, all re-usable devices are treated the same way: They are simply reprocessed until they break or are visibly faulty. This causes several problems: Firstly, the hospital will not know if they are, in fact, compliant with the manufacturer Instructions For Use (IFUs) in terms of number of uses, which means they can’t know if a cable is supposed to be used at all. This issue has increasingly been called out in JAHCO (Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) findings. JAHCO can ultimately put procedures on hold if these findings are seen as significant.
The methodology used by most hospitals also means that the point in time when it is discovered that the cable doesn’t work anymore is when it is plugged in, immediately before or during a procedure. The patient may be under anesthesia and the lab fully staffed. Getting a replacement cable can be time-consuming and disruptive to the procedure – as well as costly. 15 minutes of EP lab time is a lot of money. Innovative Health function tests every device before it goes back to the lab – to ensure that the cables always work.
Innovative Health function tests every device before it goes back to the lab – to ensure that the cables always work.
Innovative Health’s reprocessing process aligns with the instructions from the manufacturer in terms of steps and cleaning agents. SPDs don’t necessarily have separate processes they follow to live up to the IFUs of the individual device they process.
The peace of mind that comes with knowing that each device has been tested and that IFUs are followed (especially in terms of how many uses are on the cable) are powerful reasons for reprocessing cables with Innovative Health. And beware of another thing: more and more cables now come with a “single use” label. Check the IFUs to see if the cable can be reused without an FDA clearance to reprocess. Not all cables are the same in terms of how they should be handled. See a list of cables that Innovative Health can reprocess and watch a short video about our process here.