Should medical device reps be in the OR?

By Cara Livernois

 Medical device representatives are a part of the operating room (OR) team as quick references when surgeons are using specific products, but concerns have been raised about the influence of these individuals.

“People who don’t work in healthcare don’t realize industry reps are sometimes in the OR,” said Josephine Wergin, a risk management analyst for the ECRI Institute. “A lot of times they are the real experts on their products.”

The presence of device reps offers “at-the ready” information to surgeons in regards to technology. As a part of the usual equipment packages purchased by hospitals, reps have become honorary assistants to surgeons who influence their salaries.

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