How to Find Medical Supplies at a Good Price

When we think of medical supplies, we visualize all those objects used by doctors in clinics and hospitals or recommended for patients: from surgical nets, to orthosis, orthopedic footwear, wheelchairs, walking devices, portable oxygen concentrators and many more. But it is not just about objects and devices, but also about consumables, which are essential for some items to perform their basic functions or must be used within a short time (e.g. cotton wool). Accessories also add to the functions of medical supplies, even if they are not always essential.  And there are also spare parts, required to maintain the basic function of a medical item.

Medical supplies have a great impact on the quality of patient care; this is why they account for a very high proportion of health care costs. Health services but also people in general must make informed choices about what supplies to buy in order to meet priority needs. This way, wasting limited resources will be avoided.

Like we said before, there is a wide range of medical supplies, which will make the selection quite challenging, so you will likely need a checklist. You should be able to find quality supplies at a good price, if you take your time to do some prospective research. Always take into account factors like safety, performance, design, materials and packaging, and buy from authorized sellers, who correctly manage their medical supplies, provide effective storage and stock control.

High quality supplies are always expected to last longer and help users get better results. However it is good to remember that it is not necessary to purchase the most expensive medical supplies you can get, because this is not always cost-effective. Just find the right balance between price and quality, and calculate or estimate correctly your needs.

medical supply stores Denver

Identifying suppliers

If you are on a budget, you will need to look for the best medical supply stores Denver has that are able to provide you affordable medical supplies that are still of good quality. The good thing is that you can shop locally or internationally, considering that online transactions are now easy. When you select a supplier, take into account prices and product quality, but also warranties, delivery time, transportation costs, reputation and reliability.

You can get your medical supplies from retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, medical stores, as well as from non-profit supply organizations, as long as they are authorized to sell them.  Get quotations before making orders, and compare the offers of different suppliers.

Affordable medical supplies that have a warranty may still have a red flag; make sure you also check the manufacturer`s liability for maintenance and repairs. Having an authorised representative in your country is definitely an advantage, because sending medical supplies back to the manufacturer can be very costly and time-ineffective.

When you find a reliable supplier, keep monitoring their activity and performance, just to be sure that they are constant in providing quality medical supplies and maintain a good relationship with their clients. If you become a regular client, you may also get different types of discounts.

What Makes a High Quality Surgical Instrument?

Surgical instruments are medical tools designed to be used by specialists who perform different surgical tasks. There are various types of these instruments, from scalpels, scissors and forceps, to retractors, clamps and more, because surgical procedures are different and require specialized sets of instruments.

Considering the purpose of surgical instruments and the way they are being used on human and animal patients, their quality is absolutely essential and must always translate into being perfectly functional, clean and sterile.

Factors that influence the quality of surgical instruments

  • Materials the instruments are made from

There are different alloys used in the manufacture of surgical instruments – stainless steel, carbon steel, aluminum or titanium. Obviously, no such instrument should be made from regular metals. These special alloys have particular properties that contribute greatly to the manufacture of quality surgical instruments.

Let`s learn a bit more about the two most popular materials used for surgical and ortho instruments: stainless steel and titanium

Stainless Steel – It is also known as inox and is pretty common. However the stainless steel used in the manufacture of surgical instruments is made of 316 steel, which is known more commonly as “surgical steel”. This metal is highly resistant to corrosion and salt, being also commonly used for body piercing jewelry and all kind of biomedical implants. Stainless steel is also temperature resistant (up to 400°C), so it can be sterilized at 180°C. In terms of strength, stainless steel is almost as strong as carbon steel, which makes it an excellent option for manufacturing surgical instruments.

Titanium – A very strong metal and resistant to the action of very corrosive substances such as chloride, nitric acid, saltwater and other chemicals, both industrial and organic. It is also lightweight and flexible (lighter and more flexible than inox!). Titanium does not change its dimensions significantly when heated or cooled, so surgical instruments made of titanium are very durable and the first choice for MRI applications and corrosive environments.

ortho instruments

  • Cleaning, sterilization and maintenance

All surgical instruments, textile materials and other objects or solutions that penetrate into the tissues or vascular system must be sterile. First, they must be cleaned by physical methods and chemically disinfected before undergoing a standardized sterilization process. The cleaning process consists in removing organic and inorganic dirt of their surface. Cleaning is followed by disinfection, using a special disinfectant and the preparation of the instrument for sterilization.

Sterilization can be done by dry heat or humid heat. Usually, in hospitals, a vapor pressure device (autoclave) is being used to sterilize not only surgical instruments, but also soft inventory, drainage tubes, probes, rubber gloves etc.

The inspection of surgical instruments is another part of the regular maintenance cycle. Structural and functional features must be checked and tested all the time to ensure the quality of the instruments. Things to look for include the proper alignment of the instrument, corrosion, cracks, dents, sharpness of the cutting edges, loose set pins, missing parts and more. These factors are generally important to look for, but each instrument functions differently and has its own testing protocol.