Why Single Use?
The use of disposable lenses for each ophthalmic procedure is a relatively new concept that is accessible at low cost due to novel, state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques. These innovative single use lenses are a significant improvement on conventional reusable lenses, since the designs and manufacturing of traditional lenses have remained largely unchanged for decades.
Katena’s disposable lenses offer unique advantages and many hospitals and private practices, ophthalmologists and optometrists have embraced this new technology and now use our lenses routinely. Different clinical environments have different reasons for implementing single use lenses, both in the clinic and operating room. Here are a few of the reasons why single use lenses may be right for your practice.
- The sterile, single use format of Katena lenses removes all responsibility (for the doctor, clinic and/or hospital) for cleaning and disinfection or sterilization.
- All concerns about disease transmission are eliminated.
- Single use lenses greatly assist in meeting Joint Commission standards with minimum effort and expense.
- Single use lenses are cost efficient. Proper cleaning and disinfection or sterilization of traditional reusable lenses is expensive; this is a hidden cost that few practitioners or administrators have previously considered because until now there has been no alternative. Chemical purchase and storage, utility use and staff time add up. Taking into account the upfront cost of traditional lenses and the on-going cleaning requirements, single use lenses can save your practice time and money.
- There is no need to clean and disinfect a Katena lens prior to use. Competitors’ lenses are not provided sterile, so even when a lens is brand new, it must be disinfected before its first use.
- Single use lenses are very convenient and can help with patient flow, particularly in satellite clinics or practices with multiple lanes. No cleaning is required, no need to worry about losing a lens (or having it stolen), or dropping a lens, and no need to walk to a different consulting room to find a lens. Katena ’s lenses are priced such that a box of lenses can stay in each consulting room, thereby offering ready access to required equipment and therefore optimal time management.
- Some clinics choose to have a box of lenses on hand for challenging patients. On these individuals the practitioner may not want to use his traditional reusable lens. Patients with a history of hepatitis, herpes or HIV or those presenting with a red eye are good candidates for single use lenses.
- In some environments, such as mobile practices or austere settings like military deployment, cleaning of equipment may be impossible. Sterile, individual lenses are ideal for such purposes.
- An important benefit of single use lenses is the quality of the optic and the fact that it is new and pristine for every patient; no dust, scratches, fingerprints or watermarks. Not only does this improve diagnostic imaging but also has a notable impact on laser therapy. A traditional reusable lens with scratches will impede therapeutic radiation; a typical 2 year old lens may easily obstruct 20% of the laser energy with the consequence that the patient receives sub-optimum treatment. This problem is eliminated with Katena’s disposable lenses.
- In the operating room, diagnostic imaging and therapeutic delivery is immensely important. Sterilization of traditional reusable lenses is typically achieved by autoclaving and due to the nature of this process a reusable lens cannot have an anti-reflection coating. In addition, autoclaving frequently leaves water marks on the lens. The combination of watermarks and lack of antireflection coating means that the performance of the lens is unsatisfactory for many surgeons. In contrast, Katena’s lenses have antireflection coatings and no watermarks, because they are single use.
- Many private clinics choose single use lenses as a practice builder. The doctor can explain to their patients that single use, sterile lenses will provide better imaging and treatment, and that they offers the ultimate protection against disease transmission. This may differentiate the clinic from others in the area, it will reassure the patient that they are receiving the best care, and will demonstrate that the clinic is embracing the newest cutting edge technology.
- Katena lenses require no expensive repairs, unlike traditional reusable lenses. Many of our lenses are constructed using only one component, so there is no magnifier button to detach from a capsulotomy or iridotomy lenses, and no cover slip with an anti-reflection coating to delaminate. The cost and time constraints relating to lens refurbishment are not relevant for our single use lenses.
While not all the points listed here are applicable to every clinical environment, but at least one and often several reasons for using our sterile, disposable lenses resonate with most practitioners. Modern day technology offers great opportunities for improving our surroundings and protecting people from unnecessary risk. Even public bathrooms nowadays have “no-touch” facilities such as automatic flush toilets and automatic washing facilities. So it seems surprising to choose reusable lenses that touch the eye repetitively, on multiple consecutive patients many of whom have clinical challenges or unknown histories, without knowing how clean or safe the equipment may be. From a patient care perspective, convenience to the doctor and legal safeguard, single use lenses are just good medicine.