August 23, 2013

fridays

5 Examples of the Medici Effect at Midbrook Medical

On Wednesday, we learned about The Medici Effect, an idea that is changing the way we look at innovation. In case you missed it, watch this short video to learn about this phenomenon in the words of Frans Johansson, the author of the book The Medici Effect.

Crazy stuff, right? And it’s true. If you mentally scroll through the most innovative ideas you’ve heard lately, I’d be willing to bet they are all examples of this Medici Effect, all examples of taking an out-of-the-box approach to creating ideas. At Midbrook Medical, we work to take this approach every single day. Here are 5 of our Medici Effects:

 1. “Clean as a Result, Not a Process”

  • Automotive Industry + Healthcare

Before the creation of Midbrook Medical, we were simply Midbrook Inc. Instead of manufacturing washers for surgical instruments and carts, we manufactured washers for automotive parts. We are located 70 miles west of Detroit, aka the “Motor City”, so we worked with the best of the best and became the supplier of choice for the Big 3 domestic automotive companies as well as their largest tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers. We don’t come from a background in healthcare. We come from a background in clean.

And this is exactly what set us apart when we transitioned into the medical world in 2007. The “Motor City” was struggling, and we knew we couldn’t depend on them to keep us going. We decided to take what we had learned about clean in the automotive industry and apply it to a world where the difference between clean and dirty is literally a matter of life or death: healthcare.

When a car part is being washed, that part has to hit a certain cleanliness level every single step of the way before it can move forward. Companies in the automotive industry are sticklers for results, not processes, because the result is what sells. And if an automotive company refuses to put a part in your minivan unless it achieves a specific level of clean, shouldn’t we make sure a surgical instrument being put in a living, breathing human body also hits a specific level of clean? With that thought, the automotive industry and healthcare industry collided, and we settled in nicely at the intersection, promoting “clean as a result, not a process”.

2. MediCount ATP Testing Device

  • “Clean as a Result, Not a Process” + Food Industry + Healthcare

You just learned about the belief that clean should be a measurable and objective result. But how do we objectively measure clean? The results from instrument washers such as The Tempest have been tested repeatedly, and we can hold up those statistics as objective proof. And we can prove the effectiveness of the UV Flash or antimicrobial copper (both of which you’ll hear about in a minute) with lab tests and studies. But, in the real world, on a day to day basis, how do YOU objectively measure clean?

Once again, the answer was found outside the healthcare world. For years, the Food Service Industry has used ATP testing on a daily basis to ensure their facilities are sanitary. ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) is a high energy molecule required for cellular activity, so wherever you find ATP you’ll find life. In the case of the Food Service Industry and now the Healthcare Industry, wherever you find ATP you’ll find bacteria or germs. The Midbrook ATP Testing Device detects the presence of ATP on counters, instruments, and more according to measurable and customizable standards.

 3. Ozonated Water

  • Water Bottling Industry + Healthcare

Midbrook Medical isn’t the only division of Midbrook Inc. One of our other sectors is CapSnap Equipment, the leading provider of high-quality water bottling equipment and services. One of the reasons CapSnap is so renowned is because of their attention to detail. When a 5 gallon jug is being cleaned for reuse, it has to follow a specific process. It is washed, rinsed, sanitized, refilled, and, finally, capped. Before the plastic cap is automatically placed on the jug it is shot with a blast of ozonated water to kill any final bacteria that might have formed inside the cap. Ozone is the world’s most effective bacteria-killer, more than 3,000 times as effective as chlorine, the 2nd most effective.

Well, we thought, if ozone is so effective, why not use it to clean surgical instruments more effectively? So we created the Tempest. The Midbrook Tempest Washer combines the traditional ultrasonic washing process with the use of ozonated water, ensuring that results consistently meet AAMI standards.

 4. UV Flash

  • Barber Shops + Water Disinfection + Healthcare

When you think UV light, what do you picture? Tanning beds? Wrinkles? Skin Cancer? UV light gets a bad reputation from the media, but when used on surfaces other than the human body, it can be extremely beneficial. When UV light has a C wavelength, it breaks apart molecular bonds of DNA, essentially destroying any germs present.

UVC light technology has been used for decades in barber shops to sterilize tools, and is also used in water disinfection to kill various microorganisms. The UV Flash Disinfectant Station uses this same technology to sterilize hard-to-clean objects such as cellphones, stethoscopes, or stuffed animals in only 60 seconds.

5. Antimicrobial Copper

  • Ancient Egyptians + Shipping Industry + Environmentalists + Healthcare + Custom Fabrication

Ancient Egyptians used copper drinking vessels to keep their water clean. Ships often have a copper covering on their hull to prevent buildup of barnacles and other microorganisms. With antimicrobial copper, it wasn’t a matter of coming up with a brand new idea. It was a matter of realizing what the rest of the world has known since ancient times and applying it to the healthcare world.

We manufacture copper IV poles, carts, Mayo stands, and really anything else that can be made out of stainless steel. Custom fabrication has been a huge part of Midbrook’s services since we began, and now we’ve added Cuverro® Antimicrobial Copper the ever-growing list of material options. And to top it all off, since copper’s antimicrobial properties are completely natural, it appeases environmentalists and those concerned about toxins in many high-tech cleaning supplies. Antimicrobial copper has the potential to dramatically cut down on infections and cross-contamination.

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Wow. Who would’ve thought we’d use the same sterilization methods as Ancient Egyptians? Or take cleaning tips from the automotive industry? But, as Frans Johansson discussed, we can come up with far more groundbreaking ideas when we combine fields, cultures, and ideas. So let’s continue to use the idea that “diversity drives innovation” and create intersections of improved healthcare products and technologies everywhere.

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