15 sharps criteria are key to product selection

Cynthia Fine, MSN, CIC, infection control and employee health consultant for Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) in Oakland, CA, lists 15 criteria, summarized as follows, for sharps safety product selection in her program to comply with a new state law:

1. The manufacturer must be willing to work with and contract through business services departments.

2. Manufacturer must have adequate product and supply capability to service CHW system without delays or shortages.

3. Manufacturer must supply adequate free product for pilot projects.

4. Devices that reduce high-risk exposures will be given priority.

5. Product representatives must be available around the clock to educate and demonstrate devices at all CHW facilities.

6. The product must meet all regulatory requirements.

7. The device must minimize or eliminate the risk of needlestick injury to the user and others before, during and after use.

8. Safety mechanism activates easily and requires only one hand to operate. Devices that require no activation are preferred.

9. Minimal changes in technique during use of product are required:

    — The product does not require more time than the non-safety device.

    — The device is easy to use and does not require extensive training to be operated correctly.

    — The safety device does not interfere with the product’s intended use.

10. User can easily tell if safety feature is activated/locked.

11. The device has a minimal failure rate and consistently functions as intended.

12. Patient discomfort is not increased:

    — Additional punctures are not routinely required.

    — The safety feature does not interfere with ability to puncture skin.

13. A minimal number of parts/pieces is required to use the system/device.

14. Product is available in typical size ranges.

15. The device is compatible with other vendor’s supplies.