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 2018.

Q: Can you share a little bit about Ruhof’s history and how you achieve 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 approached him to develop cleaning solutions for hospital instruments, Bernard 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.

Since then Ruhof has dedicated itself to the research, development and manufacturing of state-of-the-art products to ensure the complete cleaning and reprocessing of all surgical instruments and scopes. Addressing the ever-increasing concern of cross contamination in hospitals, Ruhof’s research and development department revolutionized the cleaning industry with our enzymatic detergents, cleaning brushes and foam sprays. Additionally, the comprehensive ScopeValet™ line of endoscopy products supports the steps of the scope reprocessing cycle from bedside cleaning through to transport and storage. These GI offerings help endoscopy suites improve operating efficiencies while adhering to guidelines and protecting patients and staff alike.

Q: What are some advantages Ruhof 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 biofilm and exposing underlying bacteria to high-level disinfectants or liquid chemical sterilants. Our products are of the highest quality available and we offer the most complete line of surgical instrument cleaning, scope cleaning, and reprocessing supplies in the marketplace. In addition, the company is innovative, continually developing new products and technologies that clean, protect, comply, and verify to meet the needs of our customers.

Q: What are some health care challenges Ruhof has been able to address?

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.

Q: Can you explain Ruhof’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.

Q: What Ruhof product or service are you most excited about right now?

New from Ruhof is the endoscopic distal tip protector, TipGuard, which provides a simple, safe, and highly effective method of protecting the delicate optics of an endoscope, while allowing the tip to aerate, decreasing the likelihood of microbiological growth. Furthermore, TipGuard will help to prevent the costly repair of endoscopes.

Ruhof has also recently launched the DoseValet™ Autofill, which makes the task of manually cleaning surgical instruments easier and more complete. With the push of a button, the DoseValet™ AutoFill will fill your sink, dose your detergent, monitor temperature and detergent usage, all while freeing up technicians to do other important tasks. This helps sterile processors increase workflow while achieving high marks for instrument cleanliness.

Q: How does Ruhof support customers?

Ruhof has a most knowledgeable and responsive customer service department 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. We offer 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 are offered at both national and local trade shows, as well as right on our website www.ruhof.com/pages/education.

Q: What is most important to you about the way you do business?

At Ruhof we understand the importance of cleanliness in the health care field and are guided by our commitment to excellence. We demonstrate this by offering reliable solutions and individualized service to help health care facilities meet and exceed their decontamination and infection prevention challenges. We are always finding new solutions and new ways to help fight 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.