center uses nurses' expertise
manufacturer has a new health care product nearly ready for the
market. But first, there are some pressing questions that need
to be answered:
Will it work? Will people use it?
The School of Nursing
recently established the Health Care Product Evaluation Center
to help companies answer questions about the effectiveness, marketability
and safety of their medical products and devices through an appropriate,
impartial and competent evaluation.
"The center hopes to draw attention to the vast expert resources
and talents available within the School of Nursing, the U.Va.
Health System, and Martha Jefferson Hospital's professional
nurse organizations," said assistant nursing professor Deborah
Conway, the center's director. "This is an opportunity for
nurses to have a viable forum to share their opinions about products
they might use every day, and for the school to build long-term
relationships with the corporate sector."
In January, the center participated in an evaluation of disposable
safety devices developed by Terumo Medical Corporation of Japan,
a company that manufactures and markets an array of medical products
and devices. Volunteer participants -- including nurses from the
U.Va. Health System, nurse professionals from the Charlottesville
community, and Nursing School faculty and students -- were divided
into two groups. They witnessed a demonstration of Terumo's products
and those of two other leading competitors, were able to try them,
completed questionnaires and participated in focus groups.
center conducts evaluations under strict confidentiality guidelines.
To avoid conflict of interest or ethical concerns, it offers neither
endorsements of products it evaluates nor negative position statements.
All of the center's work is completed on a contractual basis and
governed by established guidelines administered through the Office
of Sponsored Programs and the school's Center for Nursing Research.
The center is seeking current and former nurses and other qualified
Health System employees to serve as focus group participants or
to provide specific counsel on a given center project. For information,
contact Conway at 924-0103.