The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), and the American Hospital Association (AHA) announce the release of the “Re-entry Guidance for Health Care Facilities and Medical Device Representatives.” As healthcare professionals and organizations consider when and how to safely resume elective surgeries paused during the COVID-19 pandemic, this guidance adds principles and considerations to support the vital collaboration between healthcare personnel and medical device representatives.

The guidance for re-entry builds on the April 17 joint statement by AHA, AORN, the American College of Surgeons, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists—titled “Roadmap for Resuming Elective Surgery”—with expanded, clinically based recommendations supporting the safe return of medical device representatives into healthcare facilities, consistent with the AdvaMed Code of Ethics. The guidance seeks to align access standards and processes across healthcare facilities, with principles and considerations rooted in health authority guidance, including from the CDC, FDA, and state and local authorities.

“Nurses and medical device representatives are partners in providing safe patient care and, due to COVID-19, their communications have been interrupted. We believe this guidance will reactivate these important relationships in a manner that is safe for the patients as well as the health care workers and device representatives,” says Linda Groah, CEO/executive director of AORN.

“Too many patients are going without the care that is absolutely vital to their health,” adds AdvaMed President and CEO Scott Whitaker. “It’s time for essential scheduled procedures and surgeries to resume, and this guidance we’re releasing shows how that can be done safely and responsibly.” 

The recommended framework calls for hospitals to be the primary provider of personal protective equipment (PPE) to control for potential contamination, so that PPE is prioritized to providers where it is most needed. The guidance accounts for crisis capacity situations by allowing for company reps to be the back-up providers of their own PPE for emergency procedures. The guidance also recommends against COVID-19 diagnostic testing of asymptomatic reps, so that diagnostic testing resources can be prioritized for patients, symptomatic healthcare workers, and those with known or suspected exposures, consistent with CDC and other clinical guidelines.

For more information on the AdvaMed Code of Ethics, including Section XIII, which defines and clarifies the appropriate role of medical technology company reps in the clinical setting, please click here.