Safety

If your facility uses diagnostic GI scopes, you should be following these tips!

Hospital Safety Insider, August 27, 2015

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 If you're a safety professional in a facility that conducts procedures using GI scopes, you're probably wondering what the next steps are for ensuring the safety of your patients. No one sets out to intentionally harm patients, but with federal regulators clearly stating that it may be impossible to properly disinfect the complicated scopes, what can you and your staff do? How do you do your due diligence when selecting scopes to purchase and keep the scopes that you have in service? Here are some tips:

It's still the safest option. Don't go cancelling your procedures just yet. Despite the news coverage that is out there, the infection outbreaks represent only a tiny fraction of the many hundreds of thousands of procedures done in hospitals and clinics each year. As long as your facility is following proper disinfecting procedures provided by the manufacturers of your scopes, you probably are safe. And while there is always a chance of infection, GI scopes still remain the easiest and safest way to visually inspect parts of the GI tract of patients who need the procedures done.

Call the manufacturers. This seems like it should be common sense, but infection prevention experts say that many facilities aren't using the precise instructions designed for specific instruments. This is a mistake, and it opens your facility up to problems. Call the manufacturer of your equipment and get the proper instructions (or download them from their website).

Be sure that the instructions are prominently displayed in any areas where scopes are reprocessed, and ensure that all staff responsible for reprocessing are following them exactly as printed: Have them show you as they do it.  Also, make sure you have the proper cleaning fluids and disinfectants on hand at your facility-it makes a difference.

Know who is buying your equipment. It may be time to reconsider the purchasing pipeline in your facility, and get the opinion of those who know a thing or two about the equipment being bought. It stands to reason that a purchaser who has never seen a GI scope, let alone ever used one in a procedure, probably doesn't know anything about how to disinfect one, or the little nuances, such as elevator channels that would present a problem in your facility.

Do your homework. There are many resources available when researching scopes and the features they have, disinfection protocols, and potential problems they may harbor. Make sure you are reaching out to the proper people.

Other things to consider:

* What are your peers saying about it? Use national professional talk groups and social media avenues to seek feedback from colleagues, and then validate it with written material.

* Does the device have the FDA's 510(K) approval? This is a premarket submission made to FDA to demonstrate that the device to be marketed is at least as safe and effective, that is, substantially equivalent, to a legally marketed device that is not subject to premarket approval.

* Research studies used to get the scope approved by the FDA.

Read more here.



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