Mission Critical: Six Fundamentals for Safely Sourcing Medical Brushes

Article Written by Mark Borsari

Cross infection from improperly cleaned medical devices has made national news. Supply planning, design collaboration, education and securing the partnership of a trusted medical brush manufacturer has suddenly become more important than ever before…Find out why.

As President of U.S. contract medical brush manufacturer Sanderson MacLeod, I’m often called upon to speak to medical groups, hospitals and medical device companies regarding medical brush sourcing best practices.

Our discussions typically follow three common themes:

“What’s most important when selecting a brush source?”

“How can using the wrong brush compromise patient safety?”

“How can we assess the effectiveness, safety and risk exposure of our current products?”

With patient safety and medical cleaning effectiveness receiving more attention than ever before, I offer six areas that can create an optimal medical brush sourcing plan.

1. Know Your Source: Where brushes are made is important. Were they made in a clean, organized and controlled environment specializing in medical brush production, or simply a line extension being produced with paint brushes, deburring wheels, etc.?Can your supplier accurately describe their ability to ensure lot to lot consistency, raw material trace-ability and quality assurance protocols while describing their processes for maintaining critical tolerances?

2.Further, brush manufacturers whose protocols utilize medical quality control measures can provide you with on-going, customized production data. Such information can go a long way in enhancing your confidence regarding even the most technically challenging specifications.

3. Know Your Application: Do you know exactly how your brush is used, and where? Knowing exact lumen diameters and/or bio matter collection methods becomes critical for ensuring proper brush design and selection. A manufacturer’s ability to tightly control bristle density (amount of fiber), raw materials, diameters and core wire flexibility can prevent dangerous product variability from occurring. Further, your brush supplier should be able to not only demonstrate IF the brush is working as intended, but be able to offer engineering enhancements that optimize end user results.

4. Know Your Options: Brushes are like zippers…Most people fail to appreciate their usefulness until they fail to work. A qualified medical brush manufacturer can provide a thorough brush line engineering review and suggest ways to enhance performance and/or provide cost saving opportunities through new technology or production.

One technological advancement has been the wide scale replacement of traditional protective brush tips (acrylic dipped, molded, hand crimped) with ZTip technology. Utilizing high capacity lasers, ZTip technology has eliminated the age old risk of tips separating in the patient or inside equipment and has removed the possibility scratching…critical for eliminating the collection of life threatening bacteria in brush scratched surfaces. More information can be found at www.sandersonmacleod.com

5. Know Your Resources: How accessible are your brush source’s key managers? Ideally, processes and procedures work so well that the ongoing supply of brush parts is seamless. However, if you ever find yourself needing immediate support, can you quickly access your brush supplier’s senior management? Can you get the President on the phone quickly? How about the Director of Operations or Quality Services? Should you need immediate support, knowing access to critical information is a call away can be pretty comforting.

6. Know the Future: One thing is certain…The medical cleaning and sampling world is forever changing. New processes, new equipment and new materials will continue to make supplying the optimal medical brush product a challenge. Although you may not know the future, having a medical brush manufacturer dedicated to ongoing research and design support is the next best thing.

Sanderson’s recently opened Brush Innovation Center (BIC) was designed to allow product development and individualized research to be optimized using their new, state-of-the-art prototype design facility. Working with Sanderson engineers, Sanderson clients send new and existing equipment to the center prior to their visit to have various products prototyped, sampled and approved on production equipment. Once the structured development process is completed, you can be more confident and ready to go to market faster than ever before.

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About Sanderson MacLeod, Inc.:
Sanderson MacLeod’s 100+ employees come to work every day committed to being the best twisted wire brush company in the world. That’s why so many major corporations have classified Sanderson MacLeod as “dock to stock” and named the company “supplier of the year.” Sanderson MacLeod works diligently to be not just a supplier, but also a trusted partner in the development and sale of twisted wire brush products, saving customers money through customized inventory management and large volume discounts. Sanderson MacLeod makes customers more competitive with design assistance for innovative new product development.

 

For additional information, contact:
Sanderson MacLeod
Jim DeForest
Sales and Marketing Representative
413-283-3481