Everett Haley, MHA, BSN, RN, Interim Director of Nursing – OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital
Prior to COVID-19, OhioHealth had partnered with vendors for a single-use video laryngoscope for intubations. Through the transition from reusable to single-use, OhioHealth disposed of the reusable products as they reached end-of-life. During the onset of COVID-19, many healthcare organizations purchased large quantities of both single-use and reusable products to ensure supplies were adequate in the event a surge of COVID-19 patients occurred. After hearing about this potential lack of availability of these important products, Dr. Jessica Kynyk, Critical Care Clinical Operations Chair, and Everett Haley, Nurse Manager for Medical Intensive Care Unit 1, began the process of seeking alternative measures.
Everett Haley’s Perspective
We asked the question, “Can you simply sterilize the single-use product in the same manner other delicate electronic products are sterilized?” Through a partnership with Sterile Processing Department Manager Chad Pinkstock, we removed a single-use video laryngoscope from our intubation cart and put it through the sterilization process. After completing the process, I then tested the functionality of the product and demonstrated it to several of the intensivists for their approval of its function. We then did the same process a few more times to ensure the product remained functional. From that moment we began to store the sterilized single-use laryngoscopes in a non-patient care area until they would be needed in an emergent situation.
About two weeks after the initial process was developed and the supply of sterilized single-use products began to build up, we were unable to receive an adequate supply of the products we needed, resulting in potential safety concerns. This shortage was evident initially in the Emergency Department (ED) and the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU). I shared with the ED leadership team, including Nurse Manager Holly Tinnerello and Business Manager Ashley Klunk, that we were able to successfully reuse the single-use products, and they worked with OhioHealth System Incident Command to seek approval to use the products.
This process ensured that we experienced no patient safety events as a result of a lack of intubation supplies. It was an excellent example of a partnership between physicians, nursing, sterile processing, and infection prevention to adapt an innovative approach to a problem.