With the steady growth of ultrasound and an increasing awareness of infection control practices, medical device manufacturers have recently developed automated reprocessors for ultrasound transducers. Automated disinfection systems help to standardize disinfection processes, improve staff workflow, and meet compliance standards – the sum of which improve patient and staff safety.
Automated endoscopic reprocessors have existed for decades; however, the design of ultrasound probes presented a unique challenge for reprocessing. Since some parts of the transducer cannot contact liquid and a probe cannot be fully submersed in liquid, the development of automated ultrasound disinfection systems was not possible until recently. Advancements in technology have worked around that design nuance with innovative solutions, including the series of ASTRA® reprocessors which received their FDA clearance in 2016.
In recent years, proper storage of ultrasound probes has fallen under the increased scrutiny of compliance surveyors. The Joint Commission (TJC) solidified safe storage practices in 2013 when they issued the following recommendation on semi-critical devices, under which ultrasound probes are classified:
“Store the device in a manner that will protect from damage or contamination and that is consistent with national guidelines and manufacturers’ recommendations such as hanging vertically in a cabinet and storing in a clean environment.”
A webinar will be held on January 24th, 2017, discussing probe storage, recent regulatory guidelines, and tips on safe storage. The Joint Commission issued guidelines on storage for semi-critical devices in 2013:
If your facility’s goals are to improve patient safety, ensure compliance and extend the life of your transesophageal (TEE) transducers, then performing an electrical leak test on your TEE probes between each use should be part of your high-level disinfection procedure.
When it comes to disinfecting transesophagael (TEE) probes, the process can be more challenging than other endocavity probes. In our upcoming webinar, we will walk through the disinfection steps and compliance hot buttons specific to TEE probe reprocessing. In the meantime, let’s touch on some of the key highlights here.
CIVCO Medical Solutions is hosting a live webinar event on Tuesday, June 21, 2016. This webinar will teach you how to properly disinfect endovaginal and endorectal probes and earn 1 CE credit, while helping you stay compliant with Joint Commission and OSHA.
GUS® Disinfection Soak Stations aren’t only used for disinfecting ultrasound probes. Since 1995, PCI has been designing and manufacturing disinfection equipment for instruments and equipment of all shapes and sizes! GUS are used in Urology, ENT, GI, OBGYN, MFM, IVF, Urogynecology, Respiratory, Sleep Centers, and Veterinary Hospitals.
According to The Joint Commission (TJC), the second most commonly cited area for noncompliance in hospitals in 2015 has been related to ‘the reduction of infection risk from equipment, devices, and supplies.’ TJC annually releases the most common cited standards (areas of noncompliance) and this particular infection control standard, IC.02.02.01, has been a ‘leading’ category for noncompliance for the past few years.
While attending a radiology conference, we met an ultrasound manager who shared an experience from her last inspection when objections were raised about her transducer storage system. She kindly shared the photo on right of their probe storage system. Can you see the issues with this particular system?