6 insights into endoscope reprocessing & how to ensure guideline adherence

Endoscope reprocessing is still an issue of utmost importance, Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News reports.

G & E spoke with several experts to compile reprocessing tips for practices. Six insights:

1. New York City-based NYU Langone Medical Center clinical professor Jonathan Cohen, MD, said to G & E that centers need to prioritize reprocessing and establish group buy-in.

"The endoscopy unit must maintain the highest standards, not just in terms of equipment, but also training, personnel and competency assessment to ensure that the people cleaning the scopes are following all of the steps correctly every time," Dr. Cohen said.

2. Centers should have training in place and conduct at least a biannual assessment of staff competency, Dr. Cohen said.

3. Seattle-based Swedish Medical Center gastroenterologist Jack Brandabur, MD, reiterated the importance of having properly trained staff.

4. The November 2012 Escherichia coli outbreak at Seattle-based Virginia Mason Medical Center reemphasized the importance of endoscope reprocessing, Dr. Brandabur said. "They had been doing everything right and still had an outbreak, so that was a wake-up call for us that this is a critical piece of our workflow within our endoscopy unit, and patients' lives depend on it."

5. Renton, Wash.-based Providence St. Joseph Health, Swedish's parent system, retooled its reprocessing system in light of the outbreak. The health system implemented a rigorous training process for its reprocessing technicians, including a training course and a quarterly recertification process.

6. Drs. Brandabur and Cohen also stressed the importance of patient communication in reprocessing.

"Every patient needs to know that there is a small but very real risk of infection with this equipment," Dr. Brandabur said.

To read the entire article, click here.

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