This month, OR Today sat down with Ruhof Healthcare to find out the latest developments at the cleaning solutions company responsible for creating the very ﬁrst enzymatic detergent for cleaning surgical instruments. Read on to find out more about the company, including what makes their products unique and what you can expect from them in 2016.
OR Today: Please Share A Little Bit About Your Company’s History and How You Achieved Success.
The Ruhof Corporation was established in 1976 when Frank Bass and Bernard Esquenet became a team. Frank Bass’s role in the company is one of sales, marketing and research while Bernard Esquenet is the chemist behind Ruhof’s success. Prior to the launch of Ruhof, Frank recognized the need for hospitals to use more than simple dishwashing detergent in cleaning surgical instruments. Bernard had created cleaning solutions for the Navy, which were used to clean barnacles and other crustaceous marine residues from the heat ex-changers and water evaporators of submarines and other naval vessels. When Frank Bass approached him to develop cleaning solutions for hospital instruments, Esquenet realized that the enzymes he was using to eat away at the marine organism residues would also dissolve proteins off of surgical instruments. Thus, Protozyme, the very first enzymatic cleaner for surgical instrumentation was born along with Surgi-Stain, a product for refurbishing corroded stainless steel instruments.
Today Ruhof has a full line of surgical instrument cleaners and scope care and cleaning products which include our multi-tiered enzymatic detergents, enzymatic foam sprays, rust remover and lubricants, autoclave descalers, enzymatic sponges, and more. We also offer our ScopeValet™ line of products comprised of our PULL THRU™ Endoscope cleaning devices, endoscopy procedure kits, scope transport bags, Eco-Bedside kit, etc. providing a safe, convenient and efficient way to prepare, begin and perform a scope reprocessing procedure while meeting all reprocessing guidelines. New from Ruhof is our channel/lumen ﬂushing devices , the Ruhof InstruFlush™ and Flushtech GI™ for effective pre-cleaning & flushing. We have also recently launched dispensing systems for our liquid chemistries, Fast Foam™ and DoseValet(TM), which can help Sterile processors increase workﬂ ow while achieving high marks for instrument cleanliness. Ruhof not only provides the most effective decontamination products on the market today, we also allow you to verify it with the Ruhof ATP Complete® Contamination Monitoring System and the Clean Check Complete™ Monitor for both automated and manual enzymatic cleaning process.
OR Today: What are Some Advantages That Your Company Has Over the Competition?
Ruhof Healthcare sells the only enzymatic detergent on the market (ENDOZIME® BIO-CLEAN) clinically tested to pass the difficult ISO standard 15883 Annex F by dissolving bioﬁ lm and exposing underlying bacteria to high-level disinfectants or liquid chemical sterilants. Our products are of the highest quality available and we off er the most complete line of surgical instrument and scope cleaning and reprocessing supplies in the marketplace. In addition the company is innovative, continually developing new technologies to meet the needs of our customers.
Recent reports to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) of processing errors with flexible endoscopes have brought much attention to the importance of this issue. In general, while flexible endoscopes are inherently difficult to clean effectively due to their long narrow lumens and because they are used in highly contaminated areas of the body, the manual component of endoscope reprocessing appears to be the area most prone to error. As a result newly revised guidelines from both the CDC and the AORN recommend the used of cleaning verification tests such as ATP bioluminescence, which has been shown to be both a rapid and effective method for assessing the efficacy of the cleaning process. The Ruhof ATP COMPLETE® is a quick, simple, and reliable method for verifying the effectiveness of the cleaning and decontamination process for the outer surfaces and internal channels of scopes and cannulated instruments along with all non critical facility surfaces. The ATP Complete® System consists of a lightweight hand held device, sampling tools – Ruhof Test ® Swab and Ruhof Test® Instrusponge™ —and easy to use software for tracking results. The System can also be used to test the efficacy of the cleaning process for the especially complex Duodenoscope, an endoscope associated with recent outbreaks of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) infections.
OR Today: Please Explain Your Company’s Core Competencies and Unique Selling Points.
We are the only supplier of enzymatic detergents that manufactures its own product, guaranteeing consistency and quality. Ruhof is a registered ISO 14001 manufacturer and we pride ourselves on the superior products we manufacture.
OR Today: What Product or Service that Your Company Offers are You Most Excited About Right Now?
We are most excited about our new Valveafe™and Aquabrush products. Valvesafe™ is a single-use endoscope valve cage for the safe storage of endoscope valves ensuring they remain as part of a unique set with the parent endoscope. Assisting with the traceability of the scope and its valves, Valvesafe enables compliance with national and international recom-mended guidelines (AORN, ANSI/AAMI, SGNA, BSG, ESGE) stating endoscope valves (including rinsing valves) stay with the named endoscope throughout the cleaning process.
In addition we are very enthusiastic about the launch of the Ruhof Aqua-Brush™, a rechargeable, completely submersible surgical instrument cleaning brush, which eliminates manual scrubbing for easier, more effecient instrument reprocessing. Available with both large and small brush heads to accommodate various instrument sizes, the AquaBrush™also keeps hands away from sharp instru-mentation which helps prevent possible injuries.
OR Today: Please Share Some Company Success Stories With Our Readers – One Time That you “Saved the Day” For a Customer
Ruhof often receives positive feedback from customers regarding cost savings. Perioperative and sterile processing professionals regularly tell us that they get better results and more cleaning effi cacy using much less of our detergent than other brands. In addition we receive many reports about product eff ectiveness. Recently a nurse contacted us about how Ruhof really “saved the day” for her. All other detergents failed to remove an unusual yellow/orange oily deposit from the scopes she was cleaning but our Endozime SLR® enzymatic cleaner — which specializes in removing syn-thetic lipid residue – did the trick and she has been a loyal customer since.
OR Today: How Does Ruhof Support Its Customers?
Ruhof has a most knowledgeable and responsive customer service depart-ment and sales team ready to help our customers with questions, orders, troubleshooting, etc. Our user friendly website and informative technical data sheets/IFUs also provide support. This past year we began a program of free accredited continuing education for nurses and CS/SPD techs, as we understand that ongoing education, training and mentoring are critical to the success of any clinical department. These CE opportunities – off ered at both national and local trade shows — were so well received that we now offer multiple CE programs to help our customers continually advance their knowledge.
OR Today: Please Tell Me About Your Employees.
Marc Esquenet joined the Ruhof Corp. in 1996 as a quality control and formulation chemist and in 2001 was named chief chemist. It was in this role that Marc formulated the unique and innovative products that have given Ruhof its competitive advan-tage. Marc has developed new technologies such as enhanced multi-tiered enzymatics, synthetic lipid removal products, Prepzyme® spray for removing dried on bio-bur-den, Endozime® SLR Bedside Kit, EndozimeTM Xtreme Power and Endozime APA enhanced detergent, and most recently Endozime® Bio-Clean bioﬁlm solubilization formulations. Marc’s responsibilities in this position included research and development projects in which he now holds several patents. In 2010 Marc was named Vice President of Research and Development, a role requiring him to meet with distribu-tion and customers world-wide in order to better develop new product research, development and commer-cialization for the company.
Joining Ruhof in 1993, Doug Mackay, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, has been instrumental in providing strategic leadership for the company. In 2009 Doug successfully launched ATP Complete, which then represented the ﬁ rst ATP system used in North America to test the cleanliness of scopes and surgical instruments. In 2012 he also launched ScopeValetTM as well as a complete line of new endoscopy care products. His innovative product launch has been received extremely well by the market and has further strengthened Ruhof’s standing in the endoscopy and medical communities.
A Ruhof employee since 1984, Jose Obregon became International Sales Manager in 1990 and Chief Operating Offi cer in 2000. It was during this time that he successfully took part in opening new markets in South Ameri-ca, Europe and Asia and participated in the launch of more than 20 new products and four new product lines. Moving forward, Jose’s goal is to continue to grow both the international and domestic markets for Ruhof with the aim of developing product lines which improve the quality of instru-ment care and patient safety.
A 20-year veteran of the Ruhof Corp., Jack Kinville has played a major role in generating sales for the company while also assisting the president with many aspects of marketing. Over the years, he has been featured in many trade publication articles for his expertise regarding instrument and scope cleaning. Jack’s experience, skills and successful sales record recently landed him a promotion to the position of Ruhof Sales Manager. “Jack is a strong leader who’s been working closely with our sales team to motivate them to ever greater achievements” stated Doug Mackay, Vice President of Sales & Marketing.
OR Today: What is Your Company’s Mission Statement, Or if You Don’t Have Have a Specific One, What is Most Important to You About the Way You Do Business?
At Ruhof we understand the impor-tance of cleanliness in the healthcare ﬁeld and are guided by our commit-ment to excellence. We demonstrate this by off ering reliable solutions and individualized service to help health-care facilities meet and exceed their decontamination and infection prevention challenges. We are always ﬁ nding new solutions and new ways to help ﬁ ght HAIs and to provide a safe work environment for patient and staff . We value our customers as much as the patients that they care for.