It is widely recognized that endoscope reprocessing is extremely difficult, and reprocessing breaches are common. GI endoscopes have been the focus of much of the research and guideline development to date. Until recently, no one had ever studied reprocessing outcomes for flexible ureteroscopes, which are commonly used in the OR. As a result, no guidelines or quality benchmarks specific to flexible ureteroscope reprocessing currently exist.
This session will describe evidence of reprocessing failures and infections associated with flexible ureteroscopes, as well as the high costs associated with repairing damaged ureteroscopes. The presenter will explain the results from a multisite, prospective study that evaluated the effectiveness of flexible ureteroscope reprocessing. The findings underscore the importance of consistently monitoring adherence to reprocessing protocols and assessing the effectiveness of cleaning and sterilization practices to ensure that flexible ureteroscopes are in good repair and free of contamination before each patient use.
- Describe costs and patient safety risks associated with using damaged or contaminated flexible ureteroscopes.
- Discuss the results of a new study that evaluated reprocessing effectiveness for flexible ureteroscopes.
- Discuss methods for actively monitoring ureteroscopes using unannounced audits, biochemical tests, and visual inspection.
Cori L. Ofstead, MSPH, is an epidemiologist and president and chief executive officer, Ofstead & Associates, Inc., St. Paul, Minnesota.
Contact Hours: Access Intelligence is approved as a provider of continuing education by the California Board of Registered Nursing, provider #15831. CEUs: 1 contact hour.
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