Nurses work long hours and are an intricate part of our health and wellbeing. They are also on the forefront of the medical devices that we use and the packaging they come in. So when a panel of nurses at HealthPack 2015 gave their feedback on medical device packaging, Thoro took notice. They had good comments and gave great advice regarding some of the changes that are needed. It is for these reasons; Thoro is re-posting in part, the following article from Healthcare Packaging, June 2015.

 For years, HealthPack has presented a nurse’s panel, one of the most popular presentations every year. At Norfolk, nurses again gave very blunt feedback and attendees got to hear firsthand what does, and maybe more importantly, what does not, work when it comes to medical device packaging. The presentation comprised a panel of end users, mostly nurses who were given a series of medical items and packages and asked for feedback.

 One of the major points they made was that printing on the packaging needs to be easily readable, specifically the expiration date on items. “It’s frustrating if you cannot see it,” said one nurse. “It is nerve-racking as a nurse; because you want to make sure it is not expired,” another shared the same sentiment. “Print size and expiration date are important. Have a highlighted box area or a way for me to know where it is. If I don’t know where it is, it is time-consuming. If all the information were on the front and then just the expiration date on the back that would be easy.”

 Another user suggested that when manufacturers are designing the product, they take into consideration how it is stacked on a shelf, so they can easily see the expiration without having to remove the package from the shelf.

 In addition to the print size and expiration date location, another concern of the group was making sure the packaging is easy to open and hold on to so that the device doesn’t fall out either when they open it or when they hand it to their tech. To that point, they said they prefer a tray over a flexible package. “I must be able to hold it my hand,” said one of the nurses. “Sometimes underneath, the way it is molded to hold product there is no way to grasp it.”

 The result, another explained, is a “big worry” about dropping it when it is opened. Expanding on that, the nurses debated the pros and cons of opening a package where you have to dump the items that are inside onto a sterile place or hold it open for the tech to reach in and take it out. “I never dump anything that’s worth more than my paycheck,” one of the nurses said, causing the crowd to laugh. And, although it was humorous, the nurses elaborated that it is actually a pretty serious problem.

Medical device companies use input from nurses and professionals to develop packaging that opens easier and works better in the field. Paying attention to nurses when they describe and evaluate the packaging they use can pay off for medical device firms in the package development process. Do you have an idea or a suggestion regarding medical devise packaging? We would love to hear from you.