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I am currently doing an MSc project for an NHS trust to evaluate possible replacements for their existing thermometer stock (Genius 3000A).
There is interest in the Exergen Temporal scanner (5000) and the Thermofocus in particular to try and save money on consumables. Does anyone have an opinion on these or any other thermometers?

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Some hospitals have already explored this idea and all things considered there is no or little saving, more importantly there is a risk of cross infection.
The scanner is required to be cleaned following each use, this is reliant on user staff and hence cannot be garanteed.
The cost off cleaning material is similar to the cost of cover for genius and there is the time taken to clean.


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Hero
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We went with Welch Allyn for the Suretemp oral and BBraun 4000 tympanic models. Disposables cost was a significant factor
Robert


My spelling is not bad. I am typing this on a Medigenic keyboard and I blame that for all my typos.
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Hero
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Hello Stephen,

Thermometers all measure temperature, but if you do not standardise across the Trust there are both clinical and cost implications. The best thing you could do as part of your research is to get actual comparisons:

i.e. What do the nurses use as temperature guidelines? Most hospitals don't have any.
At what temperature do the the clinicians say the patient is pyrexic? (The temperature of the body at which the clinician see the temp as a symptom of infection) Most NHS hospitals will rely on the clinician to know - do they?.
If you use multiple models of thermometer - are the clinical staff aware that each thermometer may give a different indication with up to 2 degrees difference. This may affect whether a patient is discharged/or moved to a lower dependancy bed.
How much do your consumables cost? Consumable costs can easily be £50K for a district general, but switching to a surface scan thermometer does cost money initially. You get the money back after ther second year, but saving of £250K to £500K are feasible over the life of the devices.
Can the infection control team give any real evidence that using surface scan thermometers present any more of an infection risk than ear thermometers? Not in my experience. There is a cost to cleaning the thermometers - alcohol wipes (sterets) cost something.
What about looking at patient comfort?
What about theft? I know that when you buy thermometers that do not require consumables they are far more attractive to thieves, and you need to ensure that the stolen themometers are replaced. i.e. this is a cost implication, whereas i know that Welch Allyn will replace their thermometers free of charge, but you have to pay for consubles.
An interesting project to deal with with many avenues of investigation. I hope my comments have given you some 'food for thought' smile



Last edited by John Sandham; 23/05/08 10:21 AM.

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Super Hero
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Are the traditional ("stick it under your tongue") types still available ... or have those cheap little numbers been totally outlawed now? smile


If you don't inspect ... don't expect.
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Hero
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Hello Geoff
I think they are still around in some places, but mercury has been banned in the NHS, so other 'under the toungues' are used. smile


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Philosopher
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Wow! I think I should apply for my PhD now. Is there enough "meat" in the replacement process to warrant an MSc? We have been involved in replacement programmes for all sorts of medical equipment ranging from Anaesthetic machines, defibrillators, ultrasound scanners, patient monitoring systems, infusion devices and more without as much as a pat on the back. We use Genius tympanics, the original ones were ok, we were supplied with a calibrator f.o.c. But they were replaced with the mark 2 which requires a different calibrator. Unfortunately they won't supply a free calibrator so we have to sent them back to Covidien.

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Good on you Bill, if more people follow your lead the world would be a nicer place! Nice one!

Ed

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Sorry Bill, originally misread your post! I thought because you didn’t get your FOC calibrator you sent them all back!

Ed

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Super Hero
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Yes ... it took me a couple of passes to catch Bill's drift, too (but like you Eddie, I think I prefer the earlier interpretation)! smile


If you don't inspect ... don't expect.
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