The last decade has seen an intense shift in the use of technology throughout medicine. Digital systems and innovative devices have been integrated into everyday practices at women’s health facilities. This technology brings about many operational and administrative benefits; but perhaps the most relevant benefit of all is technology’s ability to help fight cross-contamination during health practices.
How does cross-contamination come about? Cross-contamination begins once a harmful microorganism has transferred from one host to a new host. This threat can compromise the safety of a medical practice by spreading through a number of different routes: by physical contact, by airborne spread, by respiratory droplet transmission, or by physical objects.
Knowing the dangers of cross-contamination, women’s health professionals can use technological advancements to streamline practices and keep individuals safe from infectious outbreaks.
“Telehealth refers to the technology-enhanced health care framework that includes services such as virtual visits, remote patient monitoring, and mobile health care,” according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The rise of the COVID-19 global pandemic has put pressure on medical professionals to offer alternative forms of examinations that eliminate unnecessary in-person contact and crowding. Telehealth has proved to be a reliable tool for those patients that need medical assistance, but do not need immediate physical attention. Physicians can use this technology to increase patient turnover, decrease equipment costs, and decrease the risk of external contamination within the office.
Personal Mobile Devices
Before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, medical practices were starting to move toward paperless administrative tactics. Staff members and patients would use mobile technology, like tablets or touch-screen monitors, to collect and document patient information. In an effort to avoid sharing handheld devices or touching the same screens as other individuals, medical practices are now offering ways to access these same digital features.
Displaying a QR code is an easy and seamless way to give patients access to an online database or entry form on the spot. They are digital barcodes that can be scanned using the camera on one’s personal mobile device. With QR codes in place, patients will not have to touch shared devices, minimizing risks of cross-contamination. Additionally, medical practices can enable databases that allow patients to access medical information and examination results from home. Patients can update their profiles with personal, medical, and insurance information on this database before coming into the office.
Single-Use Medical Devices
The fight against cross-contamination is led by single-use medical devices. More specifically, a single-use, or disposable, speculum is a recent technological advancement that has proven to decrease risks of cross-contamination among women’s health clinicians and patients. Ideally, a single-use speculum has not come into contact with any potential contaminants before being released from its individual package. Single-use speculums are designed to help eliminate the spread of bacteria or contaminants to other individuals because they will be safely disposed by a clinician after one use. This contributes to the decrease of infectious disease outbreaks due to cross-contamination throughout a medical facility.
Cyalume Medical, the modern medical device company, is at the forefront of innovative medical technology. Its top-of-the-line SpecuLume EZ is a single-use, illuminated vaginal speculum that provides the benefits women’s health clinicians need to fight cross-contamination. It features true intravaginal lighting, streamlines medical practices, reduces risks of cross-contamination, and increases patient and physician satisfaction. Why wait to protect your medical facility from increased cross-contamination? Request a sample of the SpecuLume EZ by visiting Cyalume Medical.