Debbie McKinney explores innovative approaches to infection prevention in endoscopy services, and the knock-on impacts for cost and efficiency savings.
A Lancet review in 2018 noted that while there had been only 32 infection outbreaks associated with endoscope pathogen transmission between 2002 and 2007, the increased frequency and complexity of endoscope procedures; alongside the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance, represents a matter that requires urgent attention.1
Reusable endoscopes represent a potential infection risk for the busy endoscopy or decontamination department, and design features of the devices can complicate the disinfection process; for example, non-disposable valves or heat sensitive surfaces. Endoscopes undertake a complex decontamination journey, and with Trusts battling growing procedure waiting lists, many are losing time and money through inefficiencies in the infection prevention process.
While COVID-19 has placed new pressures on Trusts, does this also represent a moment of opportunity to adapt and improve the approach to infection prevention? This article looks at some of the Trusts exploring innovative solutions to prioritise patient safety.
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