Since 1969, Healthmark Industries Company Inc. has developed and marketed innovative solutions to aid health care facilities in their delivery of surgical instruments and other lifesaving medical devices to patients. Healthmark Industries’ mission is to continue to innovate, continue to support and continue to serve the health care provider industry and support services that make it possible to deliver quality health care. OR Today recently interviewed Healthmark Industries Vice President Ralph Basile to find out more about this innovative company.
Q: What are some advantages that your company has over the competition?
Basile: Not only does Healthmark provide innovative solutions to health care facilities, but also educational opportunities. One of the ways we have done this is to offer free CEUs on our educational game website “Crazy4Clean.com.” We try to offer two new games every year. We just wrapped up the second EndoGal game this past spring and are currently working to offer a new game this December. Visit the link www.crazy4clean.com to go play, learn and earn.
Q: What are some challenges that your company faced last year? How were you able to overcome them?
Basile: Flexible endoscopes have been a challenge to properly reprocess and news reports around the country have focused on how dirty scopes have led to outbreaks of CRE and other drug resistant bacterial infections. Healthmark launched two new products in order to test for potentially dangerous bacteria and have partnered with Nelson Labs in order to test on identifying the type of bacteria.
Flexible endoscopes are a challenge to clean and disinfect/sterilize. Modern machines such as AERs are effective tools for rendering scopes safe for use on the next patient, but how do you determine if the process was effective? By using the new NOW! Test. This simple and rapid test (<12 hours) checks for Gram negative bacteria, helping to ensure that it is safe to use on the next patient. Utilizing a unique enzyme detection method, the easy to read fluorometer checks for the Gram negative bacterial growth (<10 cfu) by reading telltale fluorescence in the recaptured water. If the fluorometer reading is positive for Gram negative bacteria, reprocess the endoscope following manufacturer guidelines prior to use.
Endoscope manufacturers, regulatory bodies and health care facilities are increasingly concerned about the spread of communicable diseases, including clinically relevant microorganisms, on reprocessed medical devices. Healthmark Industries and Nelson Laboratories have joined forces to create an endoscope sampling kit for the purpose of monitoring and reporting objective results from clinical scopes. Everything necessary to collect and send a sample from a reprocessed endoscope for testing to determine the presence of objectionable microorganisms will be provided in the kit offered by Healthmark. The sample will be sent by the health care facility to Nelson Labs for independent testing of the sample for the presence of any microorganisms. If present, the organisms will be identified and quantified. The endoscope sampling kit is intended to be used as a proficiency assessment for health care practices and not as a safety assessment for the reprocessed scope (not a “fitness for use” test). This surveillance assessment is important to help the clinical user determine if their scope is safe for use, requires additional reprocessing, requires additional testing or should be quarantined. The kit and related tests are intended as another help to assess the adequacy of health care facility scope reprocessing.
Q: Can you explain your company’s core competencies and unique selling points?
Basile: Cleaning verification continues to be an important issue in health care across the country. News headlines often consist of articles about complications from surgeries caused by instruments and equipment that have not been properly cleaned. It has affected the health care field in recent years.
Healthmark added products to its ProFormanceTM monitoring tools over the past 15 years to help ensure surgical instruments and other equipment are reprocessed correctly. AAMI and AORN recommend at least weekly testing of the cleaning process. These products are designed to help facilities comply with standards and ensure they are reprocessing equipment and cleaning surgical instruments properly.
The company’s newest version of ProFormanceTMQA is one example. ProFormanceTMQA 2.1 is a single database that allows health care facilities to record key statistics for the performance of its decontamination procedures, including the test results from Healthmark’s ProFormanceTM line of monitoring products. With this Microsoft Access database individuals can record data, use the information to generate impactful reports and track the performance of cleaning equipment over a period of time. With the latest version of the database, users will receive a USB stick with the software installed. Once the setup process is complete, begin using the database to its highest capabilities and see dramatic improvements in how recordkeeping is done. For a more detailed description of the database watch the ProFormanceTMQA 2.1 video or read the Instructions for Use under the Cleaning Verification section at www.hmark.com.
Q: What product/promotion or service that your company offers are you most excited about right now?
Basile: We are currently rolling out our Pink Promotion, partnering with Gilda’s Club of Detroit to raise awareness about breast cancer. A portion of our proceeds on our pink apparel products will be donated to Gilda’s Club.
Q: What is on the horizon for your company?
Basile: We will continue to anticipate our customers needs in the marketplace as the health care industry continues to evolve.
Q: Can you tell us about the company’s facility?
Basile: We are in the process of completing the construction of our new 100,000 square foot headquarters in Fraser, Michigan. We now have a company of over 160 employees.
Q: Have their been any recent changes to the company, inventory or services?
Basile: We offer PPE and other personal attire products on StyleYourPPE.com for individuals who would like to purchase their own attire and apparel. We offer arm sleeves, back braces, compression socks, cool aids, PPE decals, scrub caps and vests.
Q: Is there anything else you want readers to know about your company?
Basile: Healthmark was founded by Ralph A. Basile. In 1969, after a successful career with Deknatel, he founded Healthmark Industries Company Inc. The mission he established for us then, is the mission we live by today: To provide innovative and cost-effective products that aid our health care industry customers in meeting their sterilization, decontamination, storage, distribution and security needs.
Ralph A. Basile passed away in 2001. He left behind a great legacy in Healthmark and his three sons manage the company that was his life’s work.
For more information about Healthmark Industries, visit www.hmark.com or call 800-521-6224.