ECRI Institute has just published its annual Top 10 list for health technology hazards for 2016 (ECRI 2015). Our regular readers will not be surprised that alarm issues and opioid-induced respiratory depression are near the top of the list. But this year’s number one hazard is inadequate cleaning of flexible endoscopes before disinfection.
There has been a spate of reports recently of spread of deadly multi-drug-resistant organisms via inadequately cleaned and sterilized endoscopes. In particular, several fatal cases of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) were traced to inadequate cleaning of duodenoscopes. Disinfection and sterilization cannot eliminate bacteria that are covered with biologic debris. Therefore, adequate cleaning to remove such debris before the disinfection and sterilization steps are crucial. Duodenoscopes and other flexible endoscopes have complex designs that have lots of “nooks and crannies” that are difficult to clean.
As usual, ECRI Institute has done an excellent job of describing the hazards and making recommendations for organizations to address them. Here is the complete ECRI Top 10 list for 2016:
You can download ECRI Institute’s Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2016 for free at the ECRI site.
ECRI Institute. Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2016. ECRI Institute. November 2015