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My experience of using operative sets

Miroslav Hricišák, MD
A doctor in charge of a same-day medical care unit
Euromedix a.s., ProCare Polyclinic
Betliarska 17, Bratislava

Over the 21 years of my surgical, outpatient care and operating practice, I have worked in many places and there I developed certain work routines and the habit of using proven procedures. As time went on and my experience grew, I worked to improve the procedures, switching to less complicated and more cost-effective working methods whether in outpatient surgery departments or in operating theatres.

After leaving my previous employer, I took on the challenge of building a new outpatient surgery department at the polyclinic and a same-day medical care department specialising in surgery and orthopaedics and, some time later, gynaecology, plastic surgery, urology, and head and neck surgery.

At first I thought that the work would be fairly easy and that I would be able to make use of what I already knew or would learn, and that all other things would come easily somehow.

The first step was, together with my team, to decide what products we would need. After that, we contacted a number of suppliers to share our ideas and requirements with them. There were, of course, certain limitations, such as the space at the polyclinic premises, a tight budget, the scope of activity or logistics, I had to change my point of view and, in the setup process, make use of many established procedures and routines. My ambition was to develop a model as simple and cost-effective as possible.

One of the key decisions relating to the operating theatres was the choice of OP-drapes. Should we use a laundry or go for disposable surgical drapes and linen ?

In the outpatient surgery department, I tried the small disposable operative sets made by TZMO SA. At first, I was sceptical about using materials that were new to me and that I had never used before. After some time, however, the outpatient operative dressing sets, the tissue sample collection sets or catheter placement sets became my favourite products. The preparations for surgical procedures and the procedures themselves took much less time now.

At the same-day medical care unit, I used different operative sets made by TZMO S.A. specifically for different surgical and orthopaedic procedures. After many surgical consultations and discussions with TZMO S.A., the manufacturer provided us with “made-to-fit”, large operative sets containing sterile disposable OP-drapes, such as patient drapes, instrument table covers and surgical gowns. We also ordered some accessories, which were also made and packed on a custom order basis. The sets contained sterile items, such as different dressings, bags, self-adhesive pockets for liquids and medical equipment, plus tampons, bowls and elastic bandages.

The operative sets also contained disposable metal instruments (scissors, tweezers etc.), but I haven’t been using these instruments for long enough to say what I think of them.

We liked the operative sets supplied by TZMO SA so much that after three months of working in the same-day medical care unit, we discontinued using materials from other suppliers.

Being a small team, we are doing our best to perform the largest possible number of surgical procedures in the shortest possible time. Large operative sets help us reduce the time needed to prepare our operating theatres for procedures. Also, when we need to replace our surgical nurses with external surgical personnel, the risk of failure due to different working habits is none. The large operative sets designed for specific surgical procedures have made our work easier and improved the safety of our patients and our personnel.

The operative sets also contained disposable metal instruments (scissors, tweezers etc.), but I haven’t been using these instruments for long enough to say what I think of them.

We liked the operative sets supplied by TZMO SA so much that after three months of working in the same-day medical care unit, we discontinued using materials from other suppliers.

Being a small team, we are doing our best to perform the largest possible number of surgical procedures in the shortest possible time. Large operative sets help us reduce the time needed to prepare our operating theatres for procedures. Also, when we need to replace our surgical nurses with external surgical personnel, the risk of failure due to different working habits is none. The large operative sets designed for specific surgical procedures have made our work easier and improved the safety of our patients and our personnel.

With standardised surgical procedures, the risk of errors and, consequently, the possible complications is reduced. The post-surgery cleaning and material removal jobs are now much easier, which gives us more time to prepare for the procedures that follow. The central sterile services department personnel no longer have to sterilise surgical materials, as these are supplied sterile by the manufacturer. As a result, the surgical nurses can focus on the surgery itself. The standardisation of procedures through the use of large operative sets offers economic benefits too. Normally one set is used during one surgical procedure, meaning that there is practically no waste (unused materials). Keeping records of the use of the materials is easy – the material labels with codes are inserted in the files for archiving. This helps to calculate the actual costs of procedures. The costs of the personnel involved in the storage and processing of surgical materials are also reduced.

After my experience of using small and large operative sets at the polyclinic and the same-day medical care unit, I would never switch to other solutions.