Sometimes it takes a crisis in order to gain a clear vision of what is important. The recent headlines surrounding duodenoscopes and CRE have had that effect for our industry. The challenge of cleaning long, narrow complex medical devices, including flexible endoscopes, has long been known and recognized. Many have been concerned and many more have taken steps to try to meet this challenge by instituting steps to insure staff competency and to insure that the devices that are reprocessed are indeed clean and safe to use. Unfortunately, many more had resisted the full measure of the steps needed to accomplish this ultimate goal of reprocessing. Recent events have had the effect to "clear the vision" and focus the entire industry on what is important. Emphasis is now being placed on making sure staff is competent, is following the IFU and finally, verifying the effectiveness of reprocessing by testing for residual organic contaminants, such as protein, blood, carbohydrates and microorganisms. Other tools are also being used, including lighted magnification and the newest innovation, flexible borescopes that can be used to look inside the internal channels and crevices of devices after cleaning. Flexible GI scopes are not the only devices that are a challenge to clean, as past news stories have attested to. It was not that long ago when arthroscopic shavers were the focus of a story on NBC's Today Show. The complexity of these devices is a good thing, when it comes to performing minimally invasive, highly targeted procedures. When it comes to reprocessing, however, they are a challenge. It is tools such as the Flexible Inspection Scope featured in the video linked to below, that are the key to delivering clean, disinfected/sterile, safe devices for use on the next patient.


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