ECRI Institute Executive Brief

ECRI Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2016

ECRI Institute Executive Brief

#1. Inadequate Cleaning of Flexible Endoscopes before Disinfection Can Spread Deadly Pathogens

An increase in hospital-based infections is causing a rise in concerns for hospital and ambulatory surgical center (ASC) patient safety. This is highlighted in the following:

  • Fatal and non-fatal patient contamination events involving improperly cleaned flexible GI endoscopes at major healthcare centers.
  • A recent research study has shown potentially harmful bacteria remaining even after multi-step cleaning protocols.
  • Patients infected with these microorganisms are subjected to long hospital admissions and very costly treatments.

According to the ECRI Institute, dirty endoscopes top the 2016 list of technology hazards in medicine. These trends have prompted a rising tide of stricter standards for medical/surgical instrument reprocessing and quality control. Unfortunately, the proper protocols, processes and tools are not in place in the majority of healthcare facilities. Manufacturers of surgical instruments such as Sryker and Arthrex have included visual inspection as part of their Instructions for Use (IFU) publications.

This renewed emphasis on Contamination Control has resulted in urgent need for portable flexible optical scopes designed for the inspection of the channels in a variety of commonly used medical devices and endoscopes. SteriCam is designed to provide ready access and imaging of the interior chambers (lumens) of medical and surgical instruments to verify adherence to reprocessing standards by the staffs of hospitals and Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs), and to confirm that all sources of potential patient infection have been removed during the cleaning process.

SteriView, Inc. in association with Sanovas, Inc. has developed a new class of inspection scopes that offer cost effective inspection of instruments, and recording and documentation of inspection results. This documentation offers institutions a practical method of risk management, process improvement and liability control. The company is currently manaufacturing these systems in their facility located in San Rafael, California.

Source: ECRI Institute Executive Brief