Medline makes 'revolutionary' change

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

MUNDELEIN, Ill. - In a change company officials call "revolutionary," Medline has unveiled a new educational packaging design for its SilvaSorb line of wound care products.
The change came in response to feedback from patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals, who found traditional wound care packaging to be confusing, said Jonathan Primer, president of Medline's advanced wound care division.
"We heard over and over from our customers about the tremendous confusion, waste and misuse of wound care products," he said.
Typically, the outer box and inner pouch of wound care products carry little description and no photos. The instruction sheet is usually inserted in the outer box; so it's rarely on hand when the dressing is applied. What's more, dressings are often wasted when the wrong one is opened or misapplied by caregivers or nurses, resulting in longer heal times for the patient, Primer said.
So, with input from an advisory board of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses (WOCN), he turned to designer Deborah Adler of New York design firm Milton Glaser Inc., who created Target's ClearRX prescription packaging system.
"I drew a lot from my Target experience in developing a system that was bigger than just one package," said Adler.
She created a more detailed outer box that is color-coded by product family and includes, among other things, a photo, a description of the product and indications for use. The inner pouch duplicates that information, with a sticker to track dressing changes and an attached pamphlet on proper wound care.
"For my patients with once-a-day saline dressings, it probably isn't necessary, but for more advanced wound care patients it's a really good idea," said Jonathan Greenstein, CEO of Mercy Home Care and Medical Supplies, Inc., who's seen the new packaging and is "considering it."
Primer estimates that the new packaging design will increase the product's cost by about 5%.
Medline plans to expand the packaging design to other product categories.