Healthmark Industries is looking forward to an exciting future with its continued expansion of staff and products. Soon to celebrate 50 years in business, Healthmark continues to adapt to the needs of its customers. Over the years, the company has experienced a great deal of growth with a variety of products and services. Known for providing innovative solutions for infection control to health care facilities, Healthmark is currently expanding its product line. The company has over 200 employees and is in the transition process of moving its headquarters that is an overall size of around 100,000 square feet in Fraser, Michigan.

The latest focus at Healthmark includes the introduction of custom imprinted headwear.

“We now offer our customers the ability to custom design their own disposable bouffants and scrub hats,” says Ralph Basile, Vice President.

There has been much controversy surrounding the use of reusable scrub hats in surgery. AORN Guidelines recommend that scrub hats cover the head, ears and the nape of the neck. Further, all attire worn in the OR should be controlled by the health care facility, including laundering of reusable attire. This includes scrub hats, although many professionals enjoy their own customized version of their headwear. Therefore, owners of scrub hats (often surgeons) have fought this policy. They don’t want to be limited to disposable bouffant hats, but no other option will allow for a customized style to their preference.

“We feel that the next growing trend will likely be moving to single-use custom headwear in order to put an end to the controversy. By switching to truly custom printed, single-use scrub hats that cover the head, ears and the nape of the neck, it helps to promote team unity and employee satisfaction within procedure departments. Some teams have chosen to support and bring attention to causes such as breast cancer awareness. Others appreciate the ability to choose unique creative designs of their own preference. Technological advances have allowed for sophistication and style while staying within industry guidelines. Even people that don’t like the feel of disposable bouffant hats are moving toward materials like spunlace non-woven rayon disposable scrub caps that are very comfortable to wear.” says Basile.

He added that reusable custom printed scrub caps are also available.

Another way the company is adapting to meet customers’ needs is by offering continuing education credits through online games.

“CSSD professionals can also earn free CEUs on our website Crazy4Clean.com,” Basile says. “There are educational games that when you play and take a quiz, you earn one free CEU.”

Cleaning verification continues to be an important issue in health care across the country. News headlines often consist of articles about complications from medical procedures caused by instruments and equipment that have not been properly cleaned.

Healthmark has added products to its ProFormanceTM cleaning monitoring tools over the past 15 years to help ensure health care products are reprocessed correctly. AAMI and AORN recommend at least daily 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.

“One of the ongoing challenges in the health care industry is to consistently reprocess health care products effectively and consistently,” Basile said.

Healthmark has products designed to help hospitals and health care facilities provide safe environments and reduce the incidence of infections.

Researchers have discovered that devices that haven’t been reprocessed correctly can emerge from the cleaning process with bits of bone, bodily fluids and tissue from the previous procedure, contaminants that can become reservoirs for some potentially lethal bacteria. Proper cleaning and sterilization are essential for ensuring that medical and surgical instruments do not transmit infectious pathogens to patients.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), multiple studies in many countries have documented a lack of compliance with established guidelines for device reprocessing. Failure to comply with scientifically based guidelines has led to numerous outbreaks.

“Our ProFormanceTM products are designed to help hospitals and health care facilities meet the challenge to regularly test their cleaning process in order to ensure their medical devices are being reprocessed properly. Once reprocessed, inspection will need to take place to ensure the items are indeed clean,” Basile explained.

Healthmark continues to offer new innovative products that are designed to provide solutions for their customers. The new Transportation Identification Tag is produced precisely for transporting materials considered a biohazard, while acting as an essential communication tool in the process. By labeling a cart or container as “clean” when it goes out and a “biohazard” upon its return to the sterile processing department, the Transportation Identification Tag assists in supplying information to the OR/procedure room. Furthermore it has a checklist for the surgical/procedure room/sterile processing team to ensure adequate delivery of the case cart or container in question.

Another innovative product Healthmark recently launched is the newest Flexible Inspection Scope (FIS-005). It features a distal tip composed of a light source and camera lens at the end of a 110cm, flexible shaft. Designed for lumens 2.0mm in diameter or larger. The camera and light are powered by the USB connection on a PC.

Compatible with computers running Windows 7 or later, the included software allows viewing and recording. Paired with the optional Flex Arm, the Flexible Inspection Scope can be securely fastened to workstations to free both hands for manipulation of the scope and the target medical device. It is the perfect tool to visually see inside the internal channels after cleaning.

Healthmark also has a website, www.healthmark.info/hmarkqa.html, that is a non-biased forum to encourage health care workers to ask questions and share solutions anonymously. It is easy to sign up and share experiences with other peers within the industry.

If you are looking for industry news, helpful hints and other information, Healthmark produces a weekly newsletter that is distributed to thousands of readers. Each Healthmarket Digest features a story written by a member of the Healthmark team or a guest writer, as well as a weekly coupon.

For more information about Healthmark Industries, visit www.hmark.com or call 800-521-6224.