Tales from Customer Service – Autoclave Delivery April 09 2015
In our previous blog post, we mentioned a situation where a medical office manager purchased their autoclave from one of the “wimpy other guys.” The company uses a questionable delivery service and in this instance, the deliveryman forgot his delivery cart so he rolled the very expensive autoclave on the ground, end-over-end, into the facility. There is more to this story that we would like to share with you.
In a fit of rage, the office manager called us. We assumed it was our sale and as we prepared to assist the customer, they informed us, “well, I didn’t buy it from Monstermed.com.” We replied, “If it is damaged, you need to contact the company you purchased it from.” To our surprise, she replied, “I did…and they will do nothing about it!” No wonder she was upset, wouldn’t you be? She was calling us to see if there was a way we could help her. We at Monstermed.com always go the extra mile to ensure our customer’s satisfaction. But in this instance, the office manager did not purchase the autoclave from us…did we turn her away…Of Course Not! We were there to pickup our competitor’s customer service.
When Kathy called Nichole, one of our extremely talented Customer Service Representatives, saying that one of our competitors told her that the damages to her newly purchased Midmark M11 Autoclave were her (Kathy’s) fault, Nichole was disturbed that Kathy was treated that way. Kathy is the same customer that watched the delivery man roll her unit into the office end over end. I guess for our competitors, the customer is not always right.
Kathy did not want to deal with that competitor anymore and wanted to purchase her unit from us. Nichole immediately sprang into action and told Kathy exactly what she had to do. Kathy’s new Midmark M11 Autoclave was packaged and ready to ship before they hung up the phone. Nichole then called our Shipping Representative in advance to make sure that this unit would be shown the handling respect that it needs. Our Representative called ahead to the delivery terminal in Kathy’s area, and spoke with her normal delivery man who assured our Representative that he would “handle with care”.
Kathy received her new Midmark M11 Autoclave from MonsterMed two days later in perfect condition. There was even a little extra surprise in the package just to make her day brighter. After a long battle, with our assistance, Kathy did receive credit from our competitor on the damaged unit but has chosen MonsterMed.com for all of her medical equipment needs.
Shipping and Handling of your Newly Purchased Autoclave April 07 2015
If you are one of the many awesome customers who have purchased a Midmark Autocalve or Tuttnauer Autoclave from MonsterMed, you are sure you are completely satisfied with your order. How do we know this? Easy…we are autoclave-shipping pros! If you choose to purchase your system from one of the “wimpy other guys,” you run a chance of having your system damaged. We’d like to take a moment to share some information on autoclave shipping.
Simply put, shipping an Autoclave is difficult. Why? There are four main reasons…Autoclaves are Large, Heavy, Expensive, and Fragile. We have heard horror stories from physicians including one office who decided to purchase from a company other than MonsterMed.com. When their autoclave arrived, they watched in awe as the delivery man, who had forgot his delivery cart, rolled their newly purchased Midmark M11 Autoclave into their facility, on the ground, end over end. Due to the large size of these units, they are not always handled with care, so it is very important to inspect your unit when it is delivered. This way, if there is any damage, it can be reported immediately or refused. When unpacking your Sterilizer, we recommend two or more people to lift the unit. It is very important not to lift the Autoclave by the door handle or the water reservoir cap. Systems like the Tuttnauer EZ11plus Autoclave, have large handles that are very tempting to grab. These handles are not meant to burden any weight from the top or bottom and will often bend or warp making the door seal broken.
Staying in compliance with the manufacturer guidelines for maintenance is a must and can add years to the life of your system. For the Midmark M11 Autoclave, it is recommended that on a weekly basis, the water reservoir is drained, trays and racks are washed using mild soap and fresh clean distilled water is put in. On a monthly basis, the system should be flushed and the filter screens should be cleaned. For the Tuttnauer EZ11plus Autoclave, on a daily basis the door gasket and outside rim of the chamber should be cleaned with a mild detergent. On a weekly basis, clean and descale the chamber, copper tubes and the reservoir using their Chamber-Brite Autoclave Cleaner.
The best way to keep your Autoclave operating at the highest level is to respect it. This is an investment for your office and it should be treated that way. MonsterMed only carries Ritter by Midmark and Tuttnauer brand Autoclaves, because they are the best in the industry. They should last you a long time with proper treatment and that is something that everyone can respect!
Autoclave Sterilizers: Testing for Effectiveness March 07 2014
In our last blog entry, we reviewed autoclave safety in the workplace and how to avoid injury when operating an autoclave sterilizer. In our next installment of Autoclave Sterilizer Safety, we will discuss Testing for Effectiveness.
Over time, autoclave sterilizers can suffer from a variety of maintenance related issues. These issues can be anything from a leaky chamber seal to a clogged steam valve, and all contribute to less-than-perfect autoclave functioning. These issues could create a reduction in pressure or chamber temperature, or insufficient steam generation, which can all cause your autoclave to not fully sterilize your equipment.
As such, Autoclaves must be periodically maintained and tested. Always keep in mind, you should follow the autoclave manufacturer’s suggestion and your state’s guidelines for Autoclave maintenance and testing. Below is our quick list of simple steps which should help keep your autoclave in top shape.
- Clean your sterilizer’s chamber regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The cleaner the chamber is, the less chance you will have residue buildup that clogs the various valves and degrades the internal seals.
- Clean gaskets on your autoclave regularly with a mild detergent.
- Lubricate your autoclave door hinge and any other areas where metal on metal contact occurs.
- Clean your tray holder and any trays with a mild detergent.
- Clean the safety release valve and any other steam valves, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Keeping on top of routine maintenance should prevent issues with sterilization effectiveness. However, you should still routinely test your sterilizer to make sure that the sterilization cycle is hot enough and the internal pressure is correct. This requires the usage of spore tests. Spores, such as B. Stearothermophilus, can survive temperatures up to 250 degrees for short periods of time, but a full autoclave cycle should kill them.
There are two forms of spore testing to consider. The first being “do it yourself”. There are spore test kits available that allow the user to test the effectiveness of a Sterilizer by utilizing a test packet and an incubator. Always follow the spore test manufacturer’s suggested use, but basic use consists of:
- Placing the spore tests in your regular sterilization loads.
- Incubating the spores for a period of time.
- Checking for growth of spore colonies.
The other option is to participate in a mail-away autoclave test program. There are may companies that offer a routine testing service that includes:
- The user purchases a starter kit based on the frequency they will test their autoclave. (ie. Daily, Weekly, Monthly, etc.)
- The user places the spore test packet kit in a regular sterilization load
- Once the cycle is complete, the spore test packet is mailed to the service company.
- The company then incubates the packet and returns a pass/fail notice to the customer.