Hmmm, what's in the industry news this week to write about? Can't think of anything. Need to focus the scope of my thoughts. Oh, that's it scopes. Flexible endoscopes and reprocessing. Seriously, we've been out with healthcare facility customers the past week and they have our sympathy. Trying to adjust to the FDA decision regarding the Steris System 1 is not any easy one. It would never be easy, but in the current economic climate, where financing is a struggle, the challenge is even greater. One facility we were at has 7 System 1's. It is just not economically possible for them to replace all those units with AER's. Do they resort to manual cold sterilization? Tough decisions.
Flexible endoscopes certainly seem to be a focus of the FDA these days. Just a couple weeks ago, you might remember, they released a joint statement with the CDC and Veterans Administration regarding proper reprocessing of these key medical devices. As industry statistics demonstrate, use of these marvelous medical tools is on the increase. More uses and more patients being screened with these relatively non-invasive devices.
Like any surgical instrument, flexible endoscopes need to be used correctly and they need to be cleaned and reprocessed correctly to insure proper patient care. Healthmark is interested in furthering this process. Below, you have the opportunity to participate in a blind study of flexible scope reprocessing. Your input, along with those of your collegues at other institutions could help a whole industry improve the process and patient safety.