Recently a new product called The Ready Glove went relatively viral on Facebook due to its unique utility and design as a place to record a patient’s vital signs:
Out of sheer curiosity I ordered a pack of XL gloves to try out. The glove is a disposable non-sterile nitrile glove, similar to those commonly found on ambulances and in medical offices everywhere. The glove is slightly thicker (according to the website it is 4mil/0.1016mm) but this does not reduce flexibility or inhibit any sensation of palpation. It was easy on and easy off, the XL size actually a little looser than I expected for myself so going forward I would probably order Large.
What truly separates The Ready Glove from all others is the printing on the glove for annotation of vital signs. The pre-printed list with associated icons includes: Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), heart rate (HR), blood pressure (BP), respiratory rate (RR), pulse oximetery reading (SpO2), temperature (TEMP), and any drugs administered (DRUG). This is all the information you would need for a hospital notification, in some areas it would even be excessive. The list is printed on both sides of each individual glove with the top of the list in line with your pinky (little finger) so that both right and left-handed providers can write with their dominant hand on the back of the other. The palm-sided printing would appear to the provider upside down, and is not intended for use.
Originally when I got the glove I thought that it would require a felt tip marker in order to be able to write the vitals on it without ripping the glove and maintaining readability. While the felt tip marker (Sharpie Permanent Marker, Chisel Tip) worked okay (admittedly the tip was fatter than I would normally look to use) to be honest my ball-point pen (Zebra F-402 0.7mm) worked just as well, if not better for legibility. I had no issue writing on the glove with the pen and did not feel at any point that it would puncture through the material. This was a pleasant surprise that illustrated the time and thought put into the gloves manufacture.
As a user I absolutely love the glove. It serves a great dual purpose of providing a place for documentation and prompting during the call-in to help avoid missing a piece of information. It’s durable, flexible, and comfortable to work in. This would be the glove I could easily recommend to another provider without hesitation, but there is one significant drawback.
As a manager/administrator I would probably never authorize it’s expense. The cost is $25.00 AUD plus shipping for a package of 50 gloves, a per patient cost of $1.00 AUD. The cost of shipping alone, since I am in the United states, was $23.72 AUD which brings the per patient cost up to $1.95 AUD… which at the exchange rate ended up being $37.86 USD for a final per patient cost of $1.51 USD, assuming I only need one set of gloves with them.
The cost of the disposable nitrile gloves I usually get (Sempermed Semperforce Black Nitrile) is $11.99 for a box of 100. There is no shipping for the gloves I usually get thanks to being an Amazon Prime member, so that is a per patient cost of $0.24.
The per patient cost difference between The Ready Glove and a similarly designed nitrile disposable glove is $1.27. Already having to fight for every penny of reimbursement we can get, this is something that may look insignificant but when put on a system wide scale it can result in an extra expense in the tens-of-thousands range. If the price ever came down to a reasonable range of under $0.32 per patient, then that’s something I would be willing to push for at an agency.
As a single provider making the investment I wouldn’t use these specific gloves on every call. Reserving them for the truly critical and traumatic jobs… assuming I remember even have them in my right vest pocket when I encounter those calls… is the most likely scenario. The utility is brilliant, the construction is sturdy, and the novelty is clinically focused instead of the usual humorous hyperbole.