Background In April 2018, the acquisition of two echo-endoscopes enabled the deployment of a new activity within the hospital centre. Echo-endoscopy is an act of exploration combining ultrasound with endoscopy, which allows, using specific needles, the realisation of sampling and therapeutic drainages.
Purpose Therefore, we compared the different market-available needles.
Material and methods Three providers (A, B, C), previously selected in a regional framework agreement, were solicited for new quotations and specimens. A technical sheet was designed evaluating: quality of packaging and labelling; composition of the kit; characteristics of the needles (dimensions, materials, fenestrated or not, echogenicity, penetration, graduation accuracy, grip, diameter compatibility with the working channel); and quality of the samples obtained. The scores of each supplier were calculated with a weighting of 80% for the quality and 20% for the price.
Results After analysing the new offers, provider B proposed separate needle references for cytological and histological diagnostic and for therapeutic drainage. Conversely, supplier A offered three sizes of the same model allowing these three functions. Finally, supplier C was not selected because of its higher quotation without any particular technical advantage. Subsequently, three specimens from A and B were evaluated on six patients.
These trials revealed four criteria differentiating needles A and B: quality of packaging, echogenicity, penetration of the needle and quality of the sample. Indeed, needle A displayed soft packaging offering a lesser protection, a lesser echogenicity and a lower sampling quality despite better penetration. The responsible gastroenterologist, aiming to use this technique mainly for diagnosis, therefore chose the needles of supplier B. The final marks were 16,56/20 for supplier B, 16,19/20 for supplier C and 16,00/20 for supplier A.
Conclusion The difference in the quality of the samples may be linked to needle B fenestration which allows the obtaining of a larger core at the expense of a weakening of the needle, and a decrease in the case of penetration. Thanks to a tight partnership with the medical team during these tests, pharmaceutical involvement helped to optimize the sourcing of a new product and the deployment of a new activity.
References and/or acknowledgements https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30197399
No conflict of interest.
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