The new MDR and IVDR, consequences for care providers

Published by:
Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, VWS
Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, VWS

There are strict regulations in place in the EU for medical devices: the MDR and the IVDR. The regulations apply to medical devices such as bandages, artificial hips and pacemakers, as well as in vitro diagnostics, like lab tests and pregnancy tests. The legislation does not only apply to hospitals; it also has consequences for you if you are a care professional, for instance a general practitioner, a dentist, a physical therapist, or a beautician.

Different rules for homemade medical devices

If you produce medical devices in your care facility, the rules that apply to you are less strict than those for regular manufacturers. You have to meet the new conditions for medical devices produced and used in care institutions. You will find these conditions in article 5 of the MDR and IVDR. For example: you have to draw up a declaration that there is no equivalent alternative on the market. If you fail to meet these conditions, the stricter rules for manufacturers apply to you.

These rules also apply when you produce software, like medical apps.

Inform your patients if there is a problem

All medical devices must carry a unique device identifier (UDI). When a patient uses a medical device with this unique barcode, it is immediately clear to everyone which one it is. You must keep a register of all UDIs issued for high-risk implants. That way, you can easily track a patient who uses a certain type of implant.

The MDR does not prescribe how to register the UDIs. The National Implant Register Act (Wet Landelijk Implantaten Register, LIR) does. The LIR (in Dutch) states that you have to save the UDI information in the patient file and in the National Implant Register. Failure to do so may result in a fine.

Implant rules

Under the regulations that came into effect in 2021, you have to provide more implant data to the National Implant Register. The overview of implants that have to be registered in the LIR (the inclusion list, in Dutch) has been extended to all implantable devices (class III implants), with a few exceptions.

Give your patients the implant card

All implants come with an implant card, issued by the manufacturer. You must give this implant card to your patient. Put the patient’s data on the card first. Other information on the implant card is:

  • the implant data, including the UDI;
  • the manufacturer’s data.

Patients must have access to additional information about the implant. For instance on the manufacturer’s website, or on the personal health portal.

National Implant Register (LIR)

The National Implant Register Act states that you have to provide data on certain implants in a client’s medical file. You provide these data to the LIR, see this factsheet (in Dutch).

Gather information in the EUDAMED databank

EUDAMED is the European database for information on medical devices and manufacturers. You will have access to the same public parts of EUDAMED as patients. This might prove helpful if you are trying to gather information on medical devices in the purchasing process.

Tell manufacturers about your experiences

As care provider or institute, you have to inform manufacturers of your experiences with medical devices. They in turn have to conduct post-market surveillance.

Other consequences of the new medical devices regulation

The new MDR and IVDR have more consequences for you:

  • the prerequisites for care institutes producing medical devices have changed;
  • the demands for clinical research have become stricter;
  • new rules have come into effect for re-processing single-use medical devices and cosmetic devices.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, VWS