Hospital Sterile Processing Departments (SPD) are often tasked with the overlooked dirty work of OR operations – a workload that continues to increase annually with the evolution of surgical technology and increase in minimally invasive procedures. As applications expand, so do the responsibilities of SPD teams to ensure a rigorous, thorough process is being followed at every step of the equipment lifecycle to mitigate damage and ensure a safe patient experience.
One of those key processes surrounds the care and maintenance of endoscopes. The dangers of neglecting even one step in the process can be detrimental to patient safety (despite best intentions). For example, one of the first steps in the process – called endoscope pre-treating – is necessary to minimize infection risk. Yet, across operating rooms, the process is inconsistent. As a result, pre-cleaning compliance is only partially completed or skipped entirely by some OR staff.
As Melissa Kubach, Clinical Education and Training Manager at Agiliti, recently said in a November 2021 Healthcare Purchasing News (HPN) article:
“Each flexible endoscope cleaning step serves a purpose necessary for achieving the desired outcome: a patient-safe device. Pre-cleaning is the first step in an extensive line of steps. Skipping any one step places all subsequent cleaning actions at a disadvantage.”
For additional insights, read more in the HPN article (Page 7): The Full Scope of Care – 2021 Endoscope Care and Maintenance Guide
Discussion points from this article include:
- Surgical equipment best practices
- The importance of endoscope pre-cleaning
- High-quality endoscope reprocessing
- Market shifts in endoscope type and demand
- Endoscope cleaning tips
Looking Ahead – Surgical Equipment Experts You Can Trust
The proper care and usage of surgical equipment is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to day-to-day hospital and OR operations. Staying on top of best practices for endoscope care can be challenging, but when mastered, can be a huge asset for the hospital system.
With the emergence of new technologies, time constraints, staffing shortages and more, finding the time to seek educational resources isn’t always a priority. However, making these opportunities easily accessible and on-demand is increasingly important to make sure your OR is on top of this need. Visit Agiliti U for a broad range of credit-eligible, continuing education sessions and full pre-certification courses.