Hospitals face increased economic pressure, while the costs for cleaning and set-up of endoscopes has grown constantly over the years. All of which leaves no room for the purchasing of new devices. With each new batch of endoscopes comes the latest optical systems without additional investment. Concurrently, pressure on procedural reimbursement must be properly addressed while the latest and safest technologies are to be utilized to ensure the best procedural outcomes.
In order to increase the hygienic safety of endoscopic procedures cleaning and reprocessing guidelines have been expanded and tightened over the past years, making compliance even more costly.
Also, cost could potentially be much higher if endoscopes are to be properly monitored and cultured which would lead to endoscopes being removed from service. Furthermore, in the event reusable endoscopes are mandated to be sterilized for future use, the effective cost of reprocessing would increase even further as additional endoscope would need to be purchased in order to maintain current capacity. This is due to the facts that gas sterilization both shortens the lifespan of a flexible endoscope and requires sufficient aeration of residual gas which negatively impacts availability for procedures by greatly increasing the time between uses as endoscopes cannot be put back into circulation until a significant time has passed, post sterilization.
PDF download:Results of a Pilot Project