Technology Hazards for 2014. This years list contains many of the same hazards
which were included on the 2013 list; namely Inadequate Reprocessing of
Endoscopes and Surgical Instruments. This hazard continues to be a major issue in the Healthcare industry finding itself at number 6 on the list (it was listed as number 8 last year).
Because of the complex nature of flexible endoscopes which have narrow hard-to-clean channels, as well as their multistep reprocessing procedures, the potential for inadequate disinfection is high. When improper reprocessing occurs, ECRI states that it can potentially lead to the "transmission of infectious agents and the spread of diseases such as hepatitis C, HIV, and tuberculosis".
What can be done to prevent this hazard?
ECRI states that by developing and documenting appropriate reprocessing protocols and providing staff with adequate work space, training, and time to compete their duties, healthcare facilities will be able to achieve consistent and effective reprocessing of endoscopes and other instruments.
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