If nobody else is going to invent a dishwashing machine, I'll do it myself!" said Josephine Cochrane. Then she did just that. She created the first successfully operating dishwasher. This is one invention we can all appreciate. With the fast pace of the modern lifestyle we depend on household machines to do jobs we do not have time to do, and these machines have come a long way since 1887. However, sometimes these machines still fall short. Have you ever noticed that sometimes dishes never seem to come completely clean even after a manual wash and a machine wash? Food is still caked on the inside of those glasses and in between your silverware.
Just like those hard to reach places of your kitchen utensils, medical devices, such as flexible endoscopes, can be just as hard to clean. Luckily there are ways to test the effectiveness of your endoscope washer. The FlexiCheck™ kit mimics a flexible endoscope that contains residual soil from the patient. FlexiCheck™ kit contains three parts: a clear tube, a stainless-steel lumen that is attached to the tube, and a test coupon. The coupon is inserted inside the steel lumen.
To enumerate, the coupon is key to the cleaning verification process of FlexiCheck™. It is soiled with components of blood soil as well as a polysaccharide soil. These soils mimic the residue that can remain on an endoscope after patient use. These soils may contain pathogens that lead to nosocomial infections, or hospital acquired infections.
Lastly, the complete device is then attached to the irrigation port of the endoscope washer. Once the cleaning cycle is finished, both soils should be completely extracted from the coupon. If the soil is not completely removed it may indicate a less than superlative cleaning process. Adjustments may need to be made to the mechanical or chemical process of the cleaning cycle. Water quality or temperature may also be a factor to an unsuccessful cleaning process.
Just as no one wants to eat with a dirty fork, no one wants to receive care with use of an unclean medical device. This can be prevented with proper cleaning performance and the use of FlexiCheck.