eNews May 26, 2020

The latest news affecting you and your customers… from the Independent Medical Specialty Dealers Association

How is COVID-19 affecting your business, your people, your customers? IMDA is a membership organization, and in times like these, we can all use some camaraderie. If you have a COVID story to share, advice to offer, or a warning to sound, send it to Mark Thill, IMDA’s communications director, at mdthill1913@gmail.com, with the subject line “IMDA COVID story.” We’ll compile them and send them back out to you.

Rules of the road for post-COVID-19 selling

Soon, hospitals will resume elective procedures, and IMDA reps will once again be free to call on clinical departments and, in some cases, scrub in. But they will have to adhere to some rules of the road when doing so. The American Hospital Association and the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses, in collaboration with AdvaMed, laid out those rules in a recently issued Re-Entry Guidance for Health Care Facilities and Medical Device Representatives.

The bottom line?

Facility social distancing and safety policies applicable to staff, patients and patient visitors apply equally to medical device representatives. If reps can service their accounts remotely, they should do so. Facilities with videoconferencing capabilities in their operating rooms should work with medical device representatives and clinicians to use virtual support where that does not compromise patient safety or privacy.

Onsite, reps should take safety precautions in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) community recommendations, and state and/or local public health recommendations, regarding hand washing and face coverings.

Sales reps should also expect to be screened for symptoms in the same manner as staff, patients and patient visitors. Those symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, new loss of taste or smell, vomiting or diarrhea, and/or sore throat.

How about PPE?

It is the facility’s responsibility to provide proper PPE to medical device representatives deemed essential to any surgical or other invasive procedure. (The rationale being, PPE that is managed and supplied by the facility can be quality-controlled by the facility, in contrast to PPE brought in from outside the facility.)


However, facilities operating in crisis level – and in short supply of PPE — may require medical device representatives essential to emergency surgical and other invasive procedures to provide their own PPE.

If the rep has brought in a respiratory, the facility should provide a surgical mask or other covering to be worn on top of it. (Re-aerosolization of contaminants on reused masks and respirators can be the source of sterile field contamination.)