Best Practice HLD

Best practices are the safest and most effective means of providing care.

Implementing best practice standards and procedures ensures patient and staff safety.


Automated High Level Disinfection (HLD)

Automation mitigates human error risk and provides both staff and facilities confidence that they are providing the highest standard of care for patients.

“The objective was… to replace existing hygiene standards with a practicable, automated solution for the disinfection of ultrasound probes and thus set a new standard in the reprocessing of ultrasound probes… By automating the disinfection process, we obtain reproducibly safe, microbiologically effective reprocessing results, since risks dependent on the 'human factor' are avoided.”
Dr Markus Lerchbaumer
Teaching and Research Coordinator
The Interdisciplinary Ultrasound Center of Charité, Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Compliance With Guidelines

Guidelines are essential and designed to help healthcare workers apply best practices to ensure their patients are safe from infection. Manual reprocessing methods often have many steps and rely on the operator to ensure compliance. Automation of some or all of these steps helps minimise human error and decision making for staff and streamlines workflows, improving compliance with guidelines.

A study on human factors impacting endoscope reprocessing found only 1.4% compliance with guidelines when manual cleaning methods were used. Compliance increased to 75.4% among employees using a semi-automated reprocessor.1

Automation makes compliance easier to help you meet best practices.


Validation

Automated devices provide assurance that the critical parameters (e.g. contact time, temperature, concentration) are controlled and all surfaces of the probe head and handle are disinfected.

Manual disinfection does not give you the same quality assurance. Bactericidal efficacy is minimally expected from manual low level disinfection (LLD), however studies continue to show that LLD fails to eliminate bacteria from probes.2-4

Automated HLD with trophon® devices has been shown to systematically eliminate bacteria every time from probe heads and handles, outperforming manual methods.2,4

Automated methods also incorporate traceability, which is documented evidence the ultrasound probe was properly disinfected before use.


Traceability

Traceability is the documentation collected to link medical devices and their reprocessing records with patient use.5-7

This process is essential for investigations in the event of reprocessing failures, outbreaks or recalls, and can help facilities manage risk. Traceability is required for semi-critical and critical medical devices that undergo HLD or sterilisation.

According to UK guidelines, the following data needs to be captured and linked.5-7

  • Reprocessing date and time
  • Unique transducer ID
  • Reprocessing operator ID
  • Reprocessing equipment IDs
  • HLD batch number and expiry
  • HLD cycle number
  • Evidence acceptance criteria met, e.g. test strip results, HLD contact time, HLD temperature
  • Cycle process record/print out
  • Patient ID

Digitised collection of some or all of the above data will help streamline workflow, ensure data security and integrity, and minimise risk of human error in record keeping.

Learn more about automated traceability with AcuTrace®


Mitigation of Chemical Exposure

In any healthcare setting, it is important that staff and patients are protected from chemical exposure risks. An automated closed system reduces exposure to chemicals and enhances employee health and safety.1

Learn more about the mitigation of chemical exposure risks with trophon2

The trophon technology family of devices includes trophon EPR and trophon2 which share the same core technology of sonicated hydrogen peroxide.

  1. Ofstead CL, et al. Gastroenterol Nurs. 2010; 33(4):304-11.
  2. Buescher DL, et al. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol 2016;47(5): 646-651.
  3. Leroy S, et al. J Hosp Infect 2013;83(2): 99-106.
  4. Ngu, A., et al. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 36(5): 1-4.
  5. Health Service Executive (HSE) Quality Improvement Division. HSE Guidance for Decontamination of Semi‐critical Ultrasound Probes; Semi‐invasive and Non‐invasive Ultrasound Probes. 2017.
  6. Health Protection Scotland (HPS). NHSScotland Guidance for Decontamination of Semi-Critical Ultrasound Probes; Semi-invasive and Non-invasive Ultrasound Probes. 2017.
  7. Welsh Health Technical Memorandum (WHTM). WHTM 01-06 Decontamination of flexible endoscopes Part C: Operational management 2014.
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Medical Device Reprocessing