The Next Frontier of Fluid Waste Management for ASCs: Q&A With Skyline Medical CEO Josh Kornberg
Skyline Medical installed the first FDA-approved STREAMWAY System, a direct-to-drain system for fluid waste management, a few months ago. Since then, a large ambulatory surgery center chain has doubled its order and the company reported massive revenue increase during the second quarter of 2013.
"We have seen a real growth story in ambulatory surgery centers," says Josh Kornberg, CEO of Skyline Medical. "We are in the process of rolling out the STREAMWAY System in hospitals and surgical centers throughout the United States and have signed a purchase order for a number of units in ASCs."
Mr. Kornberg discusses the fluid waste management field and where it plans to grow in the future.
Q: How is the STREAMWAY System different from the industry standard for fluid waste management?
JK: Most fluid waste management systems are canister-based right now. There are three-liter plastic or glass canisters that fill during the procedure and nurses must remove the canisters from the operating room and dispose of the waste manually. Our system gets installed on the wall of the procedure room and has unlimited capacity because the direct-to-drain system disposes of the fluid in real time, without exposing personnel to potentially hazardous materials.
With the traditional canister system, patients and staff members are exposed to the dangerous fluids because they manually handle the canisters. There are cases of spillage and exposure, with disastrous consequences. Our new technology removes that exposure and liability so that none of your staff members are handling the fluid. It has a computer you can manipulate with the screen and the nurse can adjust volume or functional capacity from there.
Q: ASCs are constantly looking to become more efficient and cost-effective. Does this new fluid waste management technology have any operational advantages?
JK: Turnover time is definitely a critical issue for surgical centers, and with the traditional systems it takes extra resources and labor to wheel the canisters in and out of the operating room. Staff takes time to dispose of the waste appropriately. Our technology, however, collects the waste during the procedure and has a button that cycles through an automatic cleaning solution to flush it out at the end of the procedure. That takes roughly a few minutes — just a five minute turnover time with our technology compared to 20 to 40 minutes for canister-based systems.
The other advancement we have is environmental. We take the waste to a treatment plant whereas many canisters are disposed of by adding a solidifier to the waste and disposing it at the dump. That's an environmental concern considering how many procedures are done per year.
Q: New technology is often a huge capital expense for cash-strapped ASCs. Can they realize a return on investment with this new equipment?
JK: We sell our capital equipment for a list price below competitors an have a kit price per procedure that is less than canister-based systems. If you expand the cost for labor and liability from exposure, the disposal cost associated with canisters becomes much higher.
Q: How easy are they to install in existing ASCs?
JK: It's not difficult to put into existing centers. The installation itself can take one to two hours and we have our staff work with the onsite plumber or facilities manager for that center to locate the appropriate placement for installation. The process takes one to two hours and our staff will do a training session for in-house personnel who will be using the equipment. It's a fairly seamless process to install and set up the technology.
Q: What trends are you seeing in the fluid waste management space for ambulatory surgery centers?
JK: There are two trends right now in this particular space that are positive for our business. One is there seems to be a growth right now in acquisitions and new developments in the ASC space. That's a great trend for us because the STREAMWAY System technology is built right into the wall. It's easier to design the operating room that includes our fluid waste management system within the building designs.
We are seeing a high demand for a fluid waste management system that uses existing infrastructure to dispose of the waste, and that's one gap we aim to fill.
The other development that has been a boon to our business is that our biggest competitor announced issues with their product on the market earlier this year, prompting an FDA recall. As a result, existing centers are looking to purchase a new product to fill this gap.
We have a contract with one large ASC chain that is doubling their order of STREAMWAY System units and we are in discussions with another for a notational relationship. Ambulatory surgical centers are a particular market where we are seeing substantial growth.
More Articles on Surgery Centers:
6 Golden Rules of Surgery Center Staff Engagement From Administrator Lori Martin
12 Leaders Advocating for the ASC Industry
15 Statistics on Operating Expenses in Surgery Centers Across the US
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