Safety Scalpels–A Solution in Search of a Problem? Evaluating the Risks and Benefits

Wednesday, May 19, 2021 | 12:00pm


Safety scalpels are designed to reduce sharps injuries to staff and avoid related bloodborne pathogen exposure. Although implementation is encouraged by OSHA and these are a common purchase for many organizations, their use and impact on safety remain contentious topics.

ECRI has evaluated a selection of safety scalpels for use in locations including surgery and the emergency room. During this exclusive, members-only webcast, experts from ECRI’s Device Evaluation, Patient Safety and Supply Guide teams will discuss the evidence supporting safety scalpel use, ECRI’s process for evaluating these products, and the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and tools ECRI provides to help providers compare functionally equivalent products.

Learning objectives

At the end of this webinar, attendees will be able to: 

  • Understand the risks of sharps injuries from safety scalpels and the challenges that prevent universal use
  • Recognize the differences between safety scalpel types
  • Understand what features to consider when purchasing these tools

Agenda & Speakers

Andrew Furman, MD, MMM, FACEP

Executive Director, Clinical Excellence, Technology Assessment, ECRI
Andrew Furman is an emergency medicine physician who has worked in clinical and leadership roles in Pennsylvania and Oregon. He worked as a quality and communications consultant within the Geisinger Health System, acting as a liaison between the closed model of care delivery at Geisinger and the more open models of care delivery in newly acquired hospitals and health systems. At Salem Health, in Salem, Oregon, he served as Vice President of Medical Affairs. After completing a Master of Medical Management degree at University of Southern California Marshall School Business, he joined Accolade in Plymouth Meeting. While at Accolade, Dr. Furman supported the organization’s mission to equip employees of self-insured companies with people, tools, and technology that empowered them to better navigate the complicated healthcare environment.

Jason Launders

Director of Operations, Device Evaluation, ECRI
Jason Launders has been at ECRI since 1998 and is currently the Director of Operations for the Device Evaluation group. Jason’s primary responsibility is managing ECRI’s laboratory based evaluations of medical technologies. Jason has an MSc in Medical Physics and spent his earlier time at ECRI evaluating a wide range of diagnostic imaging technology, such as: CT, MRI, PACS, and Digital Radiography. Today, he is responsible for developing the content of evaluations to ensure they meet the needs of our members.

Gail Horvath, MSN, RN, CNOR, CRCST

Patient Safety Analyst/Consultant IV, ECRI
Gail Horvath has more than 30 years of experience in acute care, quality, risk, and patient safety. Before coming to ECRI, she was the perioperative educator for a level one trauma center performing over 13,000 surgical cases annually. Gail has also worked as the clinical director for perioperative services as well as a system manager for perioperative business services in a multi hospital system. Today, she works with ECRI and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices PSO clients as a Patient Safety Analyst/Consultant IV.

Timothy Browne

Timothy D. Browne, Executive Director, Supply Guide, ECRI
Timothy D. Browne is ECRI Institute’s Executive Director of Supply Guide and has 30+ years of dedicated service to the non-profit organization. He developed and directs the Supply Guide product suite, which assist hospitals and health care systems with the procurement of medical/surgical supplies and implants. Supply Guide focuses on revealing opportunities with respect to cost savings, standardization and utilization analytics. He has also played a critical role in the development of ECRI’s Value Analysis Work Flow, a single source workflow management system that streamlines the analysis of new product requests, conversions and acquisitions.

Julie Miller

Senior Project Engineer, Device Evaluations, ECRI
Julie has been at ECRI for eight years and is a Senior Project Engineer in ECRI’s Device Evaluation group. Julie has a Master’s degree in Bioengineering and specializes in the evaluation of surgical technologies. Recent evaluations include electrosurgical electrodes, surgical smoke evacuators, and powered and manual linear endoscopic surgical staplers.