What is the ‘Most Overlooked’ Aspect of Endoscope Reprocessing?

Best Practices

What is the ‘Most Overlooked’ Aspect of Endoscope Reprocessing?

Transport containers protect endoscopes from the outside environment, but not from the scopes themselves.

One piece of the flexible endoscope reprocessing puzzle is too often overlooked.

Transportation of the scopes, according to Michael Matthews, may be the most easily forgotten step.

The reason is that no individual department is often solely responsible for the task, Matthews, the director of customer training and education for Agiliti, recently wrote in Beyond Clean. For those tasked with transporting flexible endoscopes, there was likely no specialized training to prevent damage to the devices during the process.

Transportation also often presents the biggest opportunity for cost savings, Matthews adds.

Transport containers protect endoscopes from the outside environment, but not from the scopes themselves. Damage is more likely when more than one scope shares a container, according to Matthews.

He offered three tips to reduce endoscope damage during transport:

  • Provide education on how to properly handle flexible endoscopes for anyone involved in the transport process.
  • Invest in transportation containers that hold the scopes in place or protect the delicate (and expensive) distal tip from the light guide connector.
  • Invest in transport carts if you find that staff are forced to carry more than one scope container at a time.

Single-use endoscopes are used once and then discarded, removing the need for transport and reprocessing as well as the risk of damage.

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