Collaboration in Material Compatibility in Healthcare is Just Good Business

by Dec 11, 2023Cleaning & Disinfection, Surface Selection

A person cleaning a contaminated hospital floor.

In healthcare, where patient care, safety, and operational efficiency are paramount, material compatibility stands as a linchpin that impacts the financial health of hospitals, equipment manufacturers, and disinfectant providers. Understanding the business impact of ensuring compatibility among materials in healthcare settings is not just about mitigating risks but also about fostering a sustainable and cost-effective ecosystem for all stakeholders involved.

Cost Implications for Hospitals

For hospitals, as the core providers of healthcare services, participating in material compatibility cooperatives is all about cost avoidance: 

1. Equipment Maintenance and Replacement Costs: Incompatibility issues between disinfectants and equipment surfaces can accelerate wear and tear, leading to frequent maintenance or premature replacement of expensive medical devices.

2. Operational Downtime: When equipment malfunctions due to material damage caused by incompatible cleaning agents, it can disrupt workflows, causing delays in patient care and leading to potential revenue loss.

3. Infection Control Expenses: Material incompatibility can compromise the effectiveness of disinfection processes, increasing the risk of healthcare-associated infections and subsequently escalating treatment costs.

Financial Considerations for Equipment Manufacturers

For equipment manufacturers, ensuring material compatibility is not just a matter of product quality but it’s also good business:

1. Warranty Claims and Replacements: Incompatibility-related damage can result in a surge of warranty claims, leading to increased expenses for replacements or repairs, affecting profit margins.

2. Reputation and Market Share: Instances of equipment malfunction due to material incompatibility can tarnish a manufacturer’s reputation, potentially leading to decreased market demand and sales. It has become a competitive advantage to have stand-out compatibility properties. 

3. Research and Development Costs: Investing in materials research and compatibility testing involves considerable financial resources but is critical to delivering products that meet industry standards and customer expectations. Through collaboration with all stakeholders, costs can be reduced and progress accelerated. 

A person cleaning a contaminated hospital floor.

Financial Impact on Disinfectant Providers

Disinfectant providers, tasked with supplying hospitals and healthcare facilities, have a huge opportunity to stand out if their products are broadly compatible. 

1. Market Share: A disinfectant that provides outstanding microbial claims but destroys equipment will quickly be replaced. It is now a competitive advantage to offer fully transparent material compatibility data to showcase both efficacy AND compatibility. 

2. Research and Development Costs: Material compatibility testing is expensive and time-consuming. Achieving both competitive efficacy claims and broad material compatibility requires sophisticated formulation skill, investment in innovation, and time and resources to generate the supporting data. Through collaboration, these costs and timelines can be reduced significantly. 

3. Customer Service Costs: Resolving compatibility-related issues requires personnel time and resources and has a significant opportunity cost. Addressing damaged equipment also causes reputational harm and puts provider and customer in an adversarial posture as compensation for damages often result. Collaboration means more time selling products vs. soothing angry customers. 

Collaborative Solutions for Financial Optimization

A collaborative approach to material compatibility among hospitals, equipment manufacturers, and disinfectant providers avoids cost, improves reputation, and increases margins and speed to market. Healthcare Surfaces Institute is THE platform for material compatibility collaboration, innovation, and good business for all. 


Surfaces Matter: A New Approach to Patient Safety

Clean and disinfected surfaces are necessary in the healthcare setting to prevent HAIs, yet this basic requirement is a challenge. HSI is the only organization focused on the role surfaces play in this healthcare crisis. The Institute is actively developing minimum standard test methods and criteria for surface materials and patient care products to validate if they can be quickly and safely disinfected.

We need your help to continue this critical, life-saving work. Please contribute to our organization today.

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