Surgical instruments designed and manufactured for one-time use and discarded are being reused on other patients, placing them at risk of injury and infection.
The Healthcare Institute of New Jersey asked me to conduct a campaign to educate New Jerseyans about this potentially harmful practice and encourage state lawmakers and regulators to more tightly regulate reuse of single-use medical devices.
I designed and implemented a campaign to alert medical reporters of the practice and potential danger to the public. I managed development of a logo and website for the PatientGUARD campaign. I researched, prepared, and distributed news releases about the lack of regulatory oversight of the reuse of these devices.
We conducted a news conference to kickoff the PatientGUARD initiative, releasing the names of patient advocacy groups supporting greater regulation. I audio recorded the news conference and made it available online as a podcast. This permitted reporters unable to attend the news conference to report on its content.
Our work caught the attention of the New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D, who subsequently ordered a study into the reuse of single-use medical devices. (PDF version)