How Safe is Your Endoscopy Service?

Many hospitals and free-standing clinics are either unaware of the risk or do not adequately address the requirements of endoscopic care and endoscopic device reprocessing to mitigate life threatening risk– including that of infectious disease transmission to the patient. Flexible endoscopes cannot be sterilized. They must be decontaminated by a difficult and multi-step “high level” process in order to assure quality control and patient safety. (Decontamination is often a much more elusive goal than sterilization. Sterilization is a regimented process validated by multiple controls which guarantee a high level of confidence in success.) After decontamination, this “clean endoscope” condition must be maintained throughout storage and transport to next point of use in order to prevent re-contamination or cross contamination. Additional considerations must be given to reducing patient risk in the provision of the endoscopy procedure itself. Some of these factors include nosocomial and iatrogenic associated exigencies as well as environmental and facility safety concerns. The inadequacies surrounding the endoscopy process have resulted in countless patient injuries, harm, and related economic expenses. Why does this condition persist? Often reprocessing is taken for granted, and delivery of care is not adequately monitored, assessed and/or controlled.

Accordingly, AACI is honored to announce the comprehensive, newly developed Clinical Standards for Endoscopy to address this widespread shortfall. It is the first such standard available to the medical community based on multiple years of cumulative knowledge in accreditation surveys throughout hundreds of private and governmental healthcare facilities in the US and the EU. This standard will guide and assist a clinical facility to establish a framework of quality control processes to monitor, measure, assess, and prevent unacceptable risk in the endoscopy theater. Major factors which inherently increase the associated patient risk are addressed, and ongoing appropriate control is established and implemented. We help you fix it!

Some of those categories addressed are related to Inadequate:

  1. Training of personnel
  2. Procedures in decontamination, storage and transport
  3. Knowledge of infection control risks
  4. Appropriate and maintained facilities for re-processing, transport and storage
  5. Monitoring at critical checkpoints to confirm the intended results of key processes
  6. Microbiological surveillance in association with other associated support services
  7. Physician, nursing, and management review of rational, rate-based data
  8. Corrective action based on the above review

Contaminated endoscopes have been related to many outbreaks of device related infections through the years. Isn’t it time to correct this oversight? Endoscopy quality control cannot be ignored at the expense of life-threatening risk and harm to patients —much less the huge related economic loss and community confidence/relationship consequences.

The medical staff at AACI brings to bear years of cumulative, firsthand observation and personal experience from surveying and accrediting endoscopy processes. We use this knowledge along with our expertise as a registrar in ISO 9001:2015 to assist and advise you in the establishment and maintenance of a quality clinical performance system (befitting your scope and resource)  that  continually improves and assures patient and customer satisfaction—one that is  equal to that of the best standard of care in the world. Our 3-year program is cost effective and includes ISO9001:2015 Certification with compliance. We give you the confidence and peace of mind in providing Clinical Excellence in Endoscopy and a job well done.  Please contact AACI for further information.

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