Be Sure with the HangTimeKit™
Flexible endoscopes are marvelous diagnostic tools. But as we all know, they are a challenge to clean and disinfect/sterilize. Modern machines such as AER’s are effective tools for rendering scopes safe for use on the next patient. But what about the endoscope that is not used for multiple days? Is that scope hanging in the closet still safe for use? The AORN recommends reprocessing a flexible endoscope after 5 days of storage. While SGNA provides no guidelines, they recognize the risks associated with prolonged storage, particularly if the internal channels of the scope are not properly dried. Risks include organisms that survived disinfection and/or contaminants from the final rinse water. An alcohol flush followed by drying with medical grade air is meant to dry out the internal channels of the scope, but like any process, failure is a possibility. Well, Healthmark has developed a tool kit to help out: the HangTimeKit™. The first step in managing scope storage is to know when they were last reprocessed. For that purpose, the kit includes HTKLabels. Each label is imprinted with the 12 months and with the number 1 - 31, representing the days of the month. Circle the month and date when the scope is reprocessed and wrap the tag on the scope with the self looping design. What about a scope that has been stored for more than a couple of days? Is it still safe? For that, the kit includes the HTKTest. This simple and rapid test checks for gram negative bacteria that might have grown out during storage. Utilizing a unique enzyme detection method, the easy to read fluorometer checks for possible colony formation by reading telltale fluorescence in the recaptured water. If the fluorometer reading is positive for gram negative bacteria (which includes organisms such as E.Coli) reprocess the endoscope prior to use.