Dennis Cook

Dennis Cook is the newly crowned director of marketing at Ohio Medical Corp, Gurnee, Ill. Cook joined the company in February, taking advantage of a “wonderful opportunity” to grow professionally. 24×7 spoke with Cook about his new role, developing new products, and one dramatic development that could change the quality of care patients receive.

24×7: What is the history of Ohio Medical?

Cook: Ohio Medical is what we call one of the founding companies in the respiratory industry, since it is one of the oldest companies in the industry. Historically, Ohio Medical has been a respiratory company focused on vacuum regulators and oxygen therapy. At one time, it was a much larger company, and the name was shortened to Omeda. After Ohio Medical turned into Omeda, which turned into a multibillion-dollar company, Ohio Medical spun back out of the Omeda brand. We just carved out the suction and oxygen therapy portion and left all the other products in Omeda.

24×7: How does the new Push-To-Set™ technology work on the vacuum regulator?

Cook: The most common oversight for vacuum regulation is the occlude-to-set procedure, causing patients to end up being on the wrong suction pressure, which can cause tissue damage. If the suction level is set too high, in the stomach, for example, the catheter can adhere to the stomach wall and tear the tissue, which will cause bleeding, and eventually, ulcers and infection. Traditionally, in order to apply suction properly you have to occlude the tubing, which will display what the suction pressure is on the vacuum regulator—that’s when you are supposed to adjust the suction pressure. Sometimes, caregivers will not occlude it and just start turning the vacuum regulator knob higher. When they set the pressure that way, they are actually setting the minimum pressure. Push-To-Set technology guarantees that you will set the maximum vacuum pressure, not the minimum, because setting the minimum is what is causing the problems. You don’t have to occlude the tubing with your thumb and then take your other hand and turn it up or down. The Push-To-Set just requires the caregiver to push the vacuum regulation button in to make adjustments for the pressure.

24×7: Is the Push-To-Set feature going to be on a wider range of products in the future?

Cook: It’s going to eventually be on the whole range of products, what I call the new generation of vacuum regulators. It started on the intermittent suction unit because it is the product with the highest-demand. We’ll be introducing the rest of the product line over the next several weeks.

24×7: What has the user feedback been on the device so far?

Cook: Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We asked clinicians at a trade show to demonstrate how they set suction. After observing about 300 people doing this procedure, 80% failed to set it correctly. When we showed them the new product, they immediately realized that they had done it incorrectly, and realized that it is very comforting to know that the Push-To-Set technology is available so they don’t have to perform the occlude-to-set.

24×7: Do you see a trend in technology to help keep patients safer?

Cook: I think what is happening—as more procedures are performed—is manufacturers are looking at easier ways for a product to be used, to make it as simple as possible. In the vacuum regulation industry, there’s never been a Push-To-Set, and it’s an idea we want to sell because it does promote patient safety. I call it solution-based product development.

24×7: What is the next step for Ohio Medical?

Cook: We call ourselves an SOT company, which stands for “suction and oxygen therapy.” Our goal is now to grow that business, to round out the oxygen therapy part of our business, and become the leader once again in oxygen therapy.

24×7: What trends are you seeing that will affect biomeds in the near future?

Cook: I think technology is advancing at such a rate that the biomedical industry is challenged more and more to stay ahead of the technology curve and stay up with the advances. The easier we can make it for them, the better off they will be. We hope that when they see Ohio Medical products it’s not because they are working on it, but it is because the device is working properly, undergoing its annual check.

Zac Dillon is associate editor of  24×7. Contact him at .