Frequently asked questions

The patented Sharpsmart system has a number of unique aspects that set it apart from other sharps containers, whether disposable or reusable.

Sharpsmart's people can provide in-depth information about the Sharpsmart system and can help answer any questions you may have relating to the specific needs of your healthcare facility.

The following is a very brief collection of some of the most common questions that we are asked about the Sharpsmart system.

We realise that you may wish to ask many other questions relating to other Sharpsmart products and services, or you may want us to answer your question in greater detail. If you’d like any more information or if you want to ask a question that isn’t listed here, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

  1. Can we be sure that Sharpsmart collectors are completely decontaminated (including prions) and there is no risk of cross infection between hospitals?

  2. How safe is the Sharpsmart system from people being able to put their hands in the collector and pull out sharps?

  3. What is the cost of the Sharpsmart system?

  4. What is the life-span of Sharpsmart collectors?

Q. Can we be sure that Sharpsmart collectors are completely decontaminated (including prions) and there is no risk of cross infection between hospitals?     

Sharps collectors are not a patient-use device. Several decades of commercial use, along with Guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control¹ confirm the innocuousness of sharps containers in disease transmission risk.

Similarly, the unlikely presence of prions in a sharps collector is of no risk to patients, staff or factory workers. However, Sharpsmart procedures assume pathogens are present and the wash process has undergone stringent testing and validation by independent microbiologists and/or government health agencies in six countries. Furthermore, validation procedures show the Washsmart process removes all protein.
Sharpsmarts and associated reusable sharps collectors have been used for over 15 years in more than 500 hospitals worldwide, without a single suggestion of cross-infection.
 
¹ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health-Care Facilities. Recommendations of CDC and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC), 2003. U.S. Dept HHS, (CDC) Atlanta, GA.

Q. How safe is the Sharpsmart system from people being able to put their hands in the collector and pull out sharps?     

An international study has proven Sharpsmart to be a safer containment system¹ with no reported incidents of hand-entry and retrieval of sharps and not a single reported injury due to container penetration.

Sharpsmart collectors are designed to be open at all times until closed for disposal. The patented counter-balanced tray together with adherence to recommended mounting heights ensure sharps are not accessible once discarded.
 
¹ “Sharps injury reduction using Sharpsmart™ – a reusable sharps management system.” Grimmond, T et al, Journal of Hospital Infection Volume 54, Issue 3, July 2003.

Q. What is the cost of the Sharpsmart system?

Sharps management costs (containerisation plus sharps injury costs) are less with Sharpsmarts. Hard costs (cost of purchasing containers) are typically similar to other container systems.

The Sharpsmart system gives the best return on sharps-reduction investment. Compared with other engineered safety devices such as needle-less systems and safety syringes (costing several times more than the standard devices they are replacing), the Sharpsmart system offers a significant reduction in sharps injuries for less than current sharps container costs.

In their efforts to reduce sharps injuries to staff, healthcare organisations often spend huge amounts of money on implementing systems and purchasing safety devices that are proven to cause fewer injuries. The Sharpsmart system is one of the few sharps safety devices that is both proven to reduce sharps injuries1 and is comparably priced with the device it replaces.

¹ “Sharps injury reduction using Sharpsmart™ – a reusable sharps management system.” Grimmond, T et al, Journal of Hospital Infection Volume 54, Issue 3, July 2003.

Q. What is the life-span of Sharpsmart collectors?     

In an average hospital, a Sharpsmart collector, over an estimated 10 year period, would be reused approximately 100-200 times. As a requirement of the United States Federal Drug Administration (FDA), manufacturers are required to prove their products meet Standards tests on their last cycle i.e. they must be as safe on their 200th use as on their 1st. For Sharpsmarts this meant testing them to Standards tests after 200 cycles or uses.

However, in its successful 510(k) submission to the FDA, Sharpsmart subjected its collectors to 500 hyper-cycles (repeatedly filling with sharps, simulated transport vibration, decanting and sanitisation) before Standards testing. Sharpsmart collectors passed all tests.

No other sharps container has been subjected to such severe testing.

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Sharpsmart video

Video explaining features, benefits and usage instructions for the Sharpsmart sharps management system.