Updated: Mar 10, 2022
I recently discussed with an educational representative from one of the industry-leading endoscope companies about reprocessing endoscopes. I was surprised at their response when I mentioned the purchase of a borescope for visual inspection. I was informed that because the borescope was a third-party product, the endoscope company was unwilling to make any recommendation regarding damage to their scopes. I was referred back to the manufacturer of the borescope for guidelines.
I re-reviewed several national guidelines for the reprocessing of endoscopes. Although there is a consistency with recommending the use of a borescope, none of the documents provided guidelines on what is considered damage, especially to the point of affecting the high-level disinfection process. Also, the borescope companies that I have reviewed do not offer any such guidelines. I expected that there would be some recommendations for excessive wear and tear from the endoscope company.
The use of the borescope offers insight into damage to the endoscope's internal channels and provides the ability to view the scope's cleanliness. Coupled with additional quality assurance tests, like ATP tests, it gives a greater assurance that the reprocessing steps have been completed appropriately. Some borescopes offer the ability to take pictures, which can help determine if repairs are needed, especially by utilizing your repair company for review.
Visual inspection of the internal channels of an endoscope is a best practice process. Utilizing a borescope is your only option that provides this capability.
At Evolved Sterile Processing, our consultants have a greater focus on sterile processing. With our decades of experience, we will help you develop better processes and educational resources for your staff.