Keeping healthcare facilities clean is extremely important. A dirty equipment or tool could be deadly if the germs hitch a ride to surgical site and cause an infection. Nancy Steenbakkers, Founder and CEO of UltraZonic, was a nurse for 20 years and used to assist in the operating theater and she was also responsible for the cleaning of surgical instruments.
She tells Daily Dose: “It is very hard to clean these instruments. I was observing a lot of hospitals and noticed the same issues and problems across the world, when it comes to patient safety and ensuring the medical instruments are cleaned properly. After that I became a distributor for washers, disinfectors and autoclaves, and saw that washer disinfectors have their limits.
“I told this to my husband, who is a chemical engineer and he invented two new patented devices. These are called the UltraZonic Endo and UltraZonic Med.”
UltraZonic is a three-year-old Belgium-based firm and their main focus is precleaning. “Instead of having many sinks in hospitals, with many staff, we have now invented two new cleaning concepts, instead of a number of sinks that were used for precleaning,” she explains. "Depending on the motivation and knowledge of the staff is depending on the cleaning efficacy. Patient safety is still in big risk!"
The first one is the precleaning machine that cleans the stainless-steel surgical instruments in three minutes. “This makes the lifecycle of the instrument much longer,” adds Steenbakkers.
The second concept the company has invented is precleaning for flexible endoscopes. “This is one of the most needed in the market, as we see many issues in this area,” she explains.
“In Europe, most of the hospitals are investing in washer disinfectors and drying cabinets but there are still a lot of issues regarding the cleaning of endoscopes. I had a really good contact with a repair company who were repairing endoscopes after they were damaged, and they showed me pictures with all kinds of dirt inside! That’s why we invented our device, which is an automated machine with traceability and software package in it. With it we know every single step that is being carried out. With the instruments, the user has to follow the steps. These cannot be skipped and will ensure that there is no dirt anymore. With this device, the patient safety level is climbing up.”
Steenbakkers says that their products have been getting a considerable amount of interest. “We have references in Belgium, The Netherlands and Sweden. I am attending Arab Health to understand the Middle East market. I have seen the hospitals in the region and device cleaning is also an issue here. Patient safety is given a lot of importance in the Middle East and our devices are at hand to make sure the instruments are really clean,” she concludes.