How does the new disposable nasopharyngolaryngoscope (NPL) compare in quality and cost to the reusable NPL?
BOTTOM LINE: Disposable NPLs may offer an alternative to reusable NPLs in terms of quality and cost-effectiveness.
Explore This IssueJanuary 2021
BACKGROUND: Widely used in otolaryngology, reusable NPLs require time-consuming reprocessing between uses to avoid cross-contamination. Disposable NPLs have been produced and implemented at U.S. institutions, but there are no studies comparing the cost-effectiveness of the two NPL types, or published literature evaluating physician feedback on use of the disposable version.
STUDY DESIGN: Online survey.
SETTING: State University of New York Upstate Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences, Syracuse, N.Y.
SYNOPSIS: Researchers created a web-based anonymous survey to assess feedback from otolaryngology residents at nine U.S. institutions that had instituted use of the Ambu aScope 4 RhinoLaryngo, a disposable NPL. A total of 31 respondents were included in the data analysis. The survey used a five-point Likert scale to evaluate feedback on imaging quality, maneuverability, ergonomics, setup, convenience, and overall ratings. Researchers also performed a comparative, one-year cost analysis of reusable and disposable NPL use, based on information obtained from a single institution. Study results showed that residents rated the disposable NPL as superior to the reusable NPL with regard to setup and convenience, inferior in imaging quality, and comparable in maneuverability and ergonomics. Overall, the disposable NPL rated slightly higher than the reusable NPL (4.4 versus 4.0). Findings also showed the disposable NPL to be cost-effective compared to reusable NPLs, due largely to the high costs of repairs on the latter during the examined year. Study limitations included difficulties in survey distribution to additional institutions, and in estimating costs of certain materials.
CITATION: Walczak R, Arnold M, Grewal J, et al. Reusable vs disposable nasopharyngolaryngoscopes: cost analysis and resident survey [published online ahead of print December 10, 2020]. Laryngoscope. doi: 10.1002/lio2.500.