From the CEO

A comment from Markus Koch, CEO of Sharpsmart

The Little Things Can Be Big

I wanted to share some stories about our journey here at Sharpsmart that explain exactly what motivates us to continually innovate the Sharpsmart systems, which are already the most innovative sharps container systems in the industry. There are so many stories that we hear from our customers about the important role that we play in protecting the safety of both patients and staff. But I heard one story the other day that reinforced the Sharpsmart mission.

A friend’s father had a long hospital stay not too long ago, including a long stay in the ICU. It was a complicated situation, and hospital staff was regularly visiting him, poking and prodding, in an effort to monitor several different vital signs. In the middle of all of this, my friend was really taken by the care that the staff offered his dad. And by “care”, it was not only the treatment for his dad but also the attention the staff provided his family who were all gathered in the ICU. The family were worried and confused over a complex diagnosis, so they repeatedly peppered the doctors and nurses with all types of questions that the staff was more than willing to answer.

It was then that he recognized something we at Sharpsmart think about every day. While the family quizzed the nurses about drops in blood pressure, kidney function and more, the nurses carried on with their primary responsibilities, like dispensing intravenous medication or drawing blood and safely disposing of all of those sharps. He realized that the staff had to deal with so many distractions while performing something so important. They had tightly scheduled rounds; they had urgent situations to attend to; and they had family members looking for clarity and comfort. And for the first time he saw why the disposal of sharps – for the safety of his dad and of the nurse – was something we spend so much time on at Sharpsmart.

That is just one of the realities of a modern hospital that we consider every time we examine the design our reusable Sharpsmart system. And we examine it a lot. This kind of attention to detail helps inspire our team to constantly push for new innovations for something most people – my friend included – never give a second thought.

And for Sharpsmart those innovations can come from all kinds of places. Sharpsmart had thought long and hard about the openings of sharps containers. Large openings make it easy to dispose of sharps in a busy clinical situation but they also mean discarded sharps could be accessed by unauthorized people, especially children. On the other hand, small openings can restrict unauthorized access to discarded sharps but they also tend to make it difficult to quickly deposit the sharp and so could create injuries.

For three years, Sharpsmart worked to reconcile these two competing design priorities. How can you make the opening both large and safe? That is what led Sharpsmart to create its innovative counter-balancing Safety Tray. This design feature enables one-hand, one-step activation, making it easy to discard sharps while minimizing hand access.

To some, a counter-balancing tray might not seem to be a difficult design enhancement. After all, it is something we see in many different product applications. This again is where the Sharpsmart team showed its careful attention to design detail. To be effective, that auto-balancing tray must perform the same precise movement thousands and thousands of times in its life. It must not fail.

And that’s what I mean when I say that the “small” things are truly very big for Sharpsmart. We constantly strive for innovation in design beyond what regulations call for; for environmental safety beyond the industry status quo; and for the protection of healthcare workers who commit themselves to patients every day.