Columbus, Ohio – Earlier in 2014, global leaders in enteral nutrition delivery systems accelerated the global effort to enhance patient safety by kicking-off Stay Connected, an initiative in coordination with the forthcoming ISO standards to reduce medical device tubing misconnections. The Global Enteral Device Supplier Association (GEDSA) – a group of manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers – made its debut at the Clinical Nutrition Week Conference 2014 in Savannah, Ga and online, with the launch of www.StayConnected2014.org.
The website is the information hub for the initiative, which is divided into three phases – Aware, Prepare, and Adopt – each of which will include information and tools to help organizations transition to the new connectors. ISO 80369-1 is the global design standard that establishes requirements for connectors for liquids and gases in healthcare applications. Site visitors can sign up to receive updates about the initiative throughout the transition.
GEDSA Executive Director Tom Hancock underscored the importance of this unified endeavor. “While the overall effort to reduce tubing misconnections is not new, this level of international communication and collaboration – between organizations that compete directly with one another – is going to be a big part of the initiative’s success.”
At the conclusion of the conference, delegates from 20 GEDSA Charter & Associate members gathered in Tucson for the association’s first official meeting, where they discussed the proposed new ISO standard connectors, a market transition plan, association by-laws and elected officers and a board of directors.
GEDSA elected the following officers to 2-year terms:
- Tony Sacchetti, chair – director of global marketing, Medical Supplies at Covidien
- Simon Picthall, vice chair – global marketing manager, Medical Devices at Nestle HealthScience
- Mike Cusack, secretary – director business development sales & marketing at Xeridiem Medical
- Brad Noé, treasurer – global manager, technical resources hypodermic business at Becton-Dickinson; co-chair for U.S. Technical Advisory Group and Project Group 3 (ISO 80369-3), and chair for Project Group 7 for Luer/Parenteral connectors.
“It was tremendous to have all this industry leadership and support in one room as we embark on this initiative to enhance patient safety,” Sacchetti said. “I’m excited about how GEDSA can step up the international effort to reduce the risk of tubing misconnections, and now, with a board and officers, we can charge ahead.”
About Stay Connected
The Stay Connected initiative for using safer connectors is a communications program created to facilitate a successful transition from medical device applications that allow connection between unrelated delivery systems to new, safer connectors that ensure compatibility and consistency while reducing the likelihood of tubing misconnections. New design standards for connectors that are nearing completion will answer a legislative mandate from California and an outcry from healthcare delivery organizations that have had adverse incidents. Once the new connectors – dimensioned differently for each application – make their way into the supply chain, it will eliminate the universality of the current, one-size-fits-all connectors.