When a nurse dropped a diamond knife on the floor at Brookside Surgery Center in Battle Creek, Mich., administrator Christy Therrien, RN, knew she'd be in for quite a repair bill. She was right: $600 to repair a chipped diamond blade - about half of what the knife cost in the first place.
"Diamond knives are extremely cost effective if you handle them properly," says Brian Chandler, the president of Malvern, Pa.-based Accutome, Inc. "The blade will literally last indefinitely."
The tricky part, he says, is taking care of them: "They're made of diamond, but they're so thin, they chip extremely easily."
Here's how to extend the life of your diamond knife, making it a cost-effective investment for your facility. (See "Figuring Out Your Savings" on page 42.)
Designate a handler
Assign someone the task of caring for your diamond knives, says Tom Mancuso, the chief operating officer of Diamatrix Ltd. in The Woodlands, Texas.
"Usually, the person would be a tech, but depending on the size of the facility and how it's staffed, it could be an RN," he says. "The important thing is to have one person. We find if a single person is devoted to the care and maintenance of diamond knives, the issues of their getting broken are much less."
It's also easier to train one person thoroughly than several staff members. But in a large facility, you may want to assign the duty to a handful of staffers so you can ensure all shifts are covered and that, if someone leaves, you will still have staff trained in caring for the knives.