Contract Costs Associated with Maintaining Flexible Ureteroscopes: A Single Center Experience

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Abstract

Introduction:

We compared the cost of flexible ureteroscope processing and maintenance contracts offered by a scope manufacturer and a third-party company.

Methods:

Use and repairs of the Storz 11278AU1 Flex X2 Flexible Ureteroscope are prospectively recorded at our large, 371-bed, acute care hospital. A retrospective analysis of the processing of ureteroscopic instruments during a 3-year period (2011 to 2013) was completed. We compared the handling of ureteroscopes between 1 year under a third-party contractor (Integrated Medical Systems International, Inc. [IMS]) and 2 prior years under the manufacturer (KARL STORZ) contract.

Results:

From January 1, 2011 through October 1, 2012 our institution used the manufacturer for the processing of ureteroscopic instruments. From January 1, 2013 through December 9, 2013 our institution used the third-party contractor IMS for repairs. The number of procedures performed per repair/exchange during the manufacturer contract was 19.9 and the number of procedures performed per repair/exchange during the third-party contract was 11. The third-party contract resulted in a reduction of procedures performed per repair/exchange by 52%. Adjusted for inflation, the yearly cost of ureteroscope repairs was $125,715 during the manufacturer contract and $158,040 during the third-party contract. By analyzing the costs incurred in 2013, if our institution had maintained the manufacturer contract for all 3 years, the estimated repair cost would have resulted in a savings of $32,325.

Conclusions:

Using the manufacturer repair contract is more cost-effective than using that of third-party companies.

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