Endoscope care comes into focus at 2018 IAHCSMM Annual Conference

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Proper care and handling of endoscopes is a topic of growing concern and interest among those responsible for the critically important task of endoscope reprocessing. And rightfully so. Incidents involving endoscope contamination and its associated risks to patients continue to make headlines, and epidemiological studies have revealed cleaning and device design challenges, as well as evidence of biologic debris remaining on endoscopes that were reprocessing in accordance with current guidelines and standards.

ECRI Institute named inadequate reprocessing of flexible endoscopes and other complex reusable instruments to its Top 10 Health Technology Hazards list since 2014 (inadequate cleaning of flexible endoscopes topped the list in 2017 and came in second in 2016). The International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM) has provided in-depth editorial coverage on some of the latest endoscope-related findings in the May/June 2015 and May/June 2016 issues of its membership publication, Communiqué. The Association also developed the IAHCSMM Endoscope Reprocessing Manual in 2017, with IAHCSMM Endoscope Certification being rolled out this spring.

To help further address some of the challenges associated with endoscope reprocessing, IAHCSMM will be hosting its second Pre-Conference Endoscope Workshop on Saturday, April 28, 2018. The special event, entitled “Flexible Endoscopes: A Clearer View,” will be tailored to technicians, supervisors and managers who work directly with the inspection, cleaning, disinfection and sterilization of endoscopes on a daily basis – whether in a hospital or surgery center setting.

“This program will review best practices for flexible endoscope reprocessing using lecture, discussion, demonstration and hands-on learning activities,” said IAHCSMM Education Director Natalie Lind, CRCST, CHL, FCS. “The information provided will enhance participants’ skills and knowledge in all aspects of flexible endoscope reprocessing, and provide tangible tools that participants can take back and share with their departments or local chapters.”

Endoscope workshop at 2017 Annual Conference

Learning objectives for the pre-conference workshop include:

  • Identifying current issues in flexible endoscope reprocessing;
  • Reviewing techniques to enhance flexible endoscope cleaning;
  • Examining methods to verify cleaning and identify damage to flexible endoscopes;
  • Identifying helpful techniques for high-level disinfection processes;
  • Explaining the importance of drying;
  • Discussing best practices for flexible endoscope handling and storage;
  • Listing strategies to deal with noncompliance issues; and
  • Utilizing tools for flexible endoscope training and system evaluation.

Note: The workshop will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and again from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. (both sessions are identical). This workshop has a separate fee: cost is $89 for IAHCSMM members/$99 for non-members, and space is limited. Participants may attend the workshop as a standalone event, or in addition to the annual conference.

Conference attendees who are unable to attend the pre-conference endoscope workshop, but interested in learning more about endoscope-related challenges and best practices will still have a range of educational opportunities at their disposal. Numerous expert-led sessions will address endoscope-related issues and updates, and the topic will also be addressed during Early Bird concurrent sessions.

To learn more about the 2018 IAHCSMM Annual Conference & Expo, including pre-conference events, visit: www.iahcsmm.org/info-schedule-of-events.html.

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