Explosive procedure growth at Sanford Medical Center Bismarck motivated their Perioperative Services Management Team to remove steps, tasks, and processes that held the potential for productivity-draining errors. Today, through their use of the ASP Ecosystem, manual record keeping for low temperature sterilizer load clearance and BI tasks has been eliminated.

Endoscopy is a procedure to visually examine the inside of the body using an endoscope. Duodenoscope is an example of a flexible endoscope used in endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) procedures and have received attention due to the infections associated with the improper reprocessing in recently years.1

In a first-of-its-kind, peer-reviewed journal article titled Comparative Evaluation of the Microbicidal Activity of Low-Temperature Sterilization Technologies to Steam Sterilization1, William A. Rutala, PhD, detailed comparative testing they performed on different sterilization modalities under simulated inadequate cleaning conditions to understand differences in sterilizer efficacy and the critical nature of proper cleaning when reprocessing medical devices.

A decade ago, biological indicator (BIs) used a visual readout method to determine if a sterilization cycle successfully inactivated microorganisms. Because these antiquated BIs took one to seven days for growth readout results, they were an untimely indicator of potential catastrophic sterilization failures.

Advances in technology transformed many aspects of medicine such as robotic-assisted procedures in the modern world that lead to more complex surgical instruments. This posed challenges for sterilization using the traditional steam autoclave, and it paved the way for the development of other sterilization modality to process delicate instrumentation such as flexible endoscopes.

See how ASP’s STERRAD® Low-Temperature Hydrogen Peroxide Gas Plasma (HPGP) Sterilizers help ensure your staff can safely meet the demands of the busy Operating Room on time, every time.

The increased use of temperature-sensitive medical devices has given rise to higher usage of low temperature sterilization methods. STERRAD® Systems and V-PRO® sterilizers offer shorter sterilization cycles and use hydrogen peroxide(H2O2), a sterilant with a better safety profile than ethylene oxide (EtO) sterilizers. Consequently, these sterilizers have become widely used for temperature- and moisture-sensitive instrument reprocessing.

On April 1, 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety alert in the form of a letter to health care providers regarding infections linked to reprocessed urological endoscopes. In this announcement, the FDA notes they have received numerous Medical Device Reports (MDRs) that describe patient infections post procedure or other possible contamination issues associated with reprocessing these devices.

An increasing number of healthcare procedures are occurring in outpatient, ambulatory care.1 Processing surgical instruments is at the heart of every surgery center. The Sterile Processing Technicians are at the helm of driving patient care during surgery by being responsible for cleaning, decontaminating, processing, sterilizing, and managing the necessary instruments and equipment. Their dedication and diligence can often be challenged when facilities aren’t efficiently equipped with the appropriate hardware and tools that allow for a scalable workload.