Guidelines Blog

Erin Dougherty

Recent Posts

Safely Using Ultrasound for Vascular Access

Posted by Erin Dougherty on Sep 1, 2021 6:11:56 AM

Ultrasound is often used by vascular access teams and nurses to guide certain vascular access procedures, such as placing PICC lines or difficult access peripheral IVs (PIVs). Improving patient safety and outcomes is needed for vascular access interventions, and there are other specific considerations when using ultrasound.

Infection prevention in vascular access is a widely discussed topic, and this post will outline research and guidelines specific to ultrasound-guided procedures.

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Topics: Anesthesia & Pain Medicine

Reduce the Spread of Infection in Ultrasound

Posted by Erin Dougherty on Jun 8, 2020 4:13:03 AM

Medical facilities exist to care for and improve the health of their patients. However, a major concern for patients is the risk of getting an infection during a procedure or hospital stay. Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are acquired while patients receive health care for another condition1 and can occur 48 to 72 hours after treatment.2

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Topics: Anesthesia & Pain Medicine, Interventional Ultrasound, Cardiology, Diagnostic Ultrasound

How to High-Level Disinfect Ultrasound Transducers, Part I

Posted by Erin Dougherty on Apr 13, 2020 8:39:50 AM

A previous blog post took you through the necessary steps for cleaning ultrasound transducers in How to Clean an Ultrasound Probe. Cleaning is a fundamental step that cannot be skipped before you disinfect the ultrasound probe. Now we’ll go over the process of high-level disinfecting an ultrasound probe. Since there’s a lot to cover, we’ve broken it up into two parts.

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Topics: Cardiology, CIVCO, Diagnostic Ultrasound, Men's Health

How to Clean an Ultrasound Probe

Posted by Erin Dougherty on Mar 24, 2020 5:16:20 AM

Cleaning is a mandatory first step in the high-level disinfection process of intracavity ultrasound transducers, such as transesophageal and endocavity probes. Healthcare workers may use ‘pre-cleaning’ and ‘cleaning’ interchangeably.

Properly cleaning the probe optimizes the disinfection process and the American Institute for Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) states that “adequate transducer preparation is mandatory.”1 If you skip the cleaning step or perform it inadequately, you will compromise the entire disinfection or sterilization process.

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Topics: cleaning ultrasound transducer, Cardiology, CIVCO, clean ultrasound probe, Diagnostic Ultrasound, Men's Health

Improve Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) Biopsies by Eliminating a Common Step

Posted by Erin Dougherty on Jun 24, 2019 3:54:43 PM

Fine needle aspiration biopsies (FNAs) are common procedures performed by physicians around the world, in facilities large and small. An FNA procedure utilizes thinner needles (21-27 gauge) to extract tissue samples from a patient’s discovered lesion, which pathology uses to diagnose whether the lesion is malignant or benign1. FNAs can be done on many anatomic sites, but are typically performed on a lymph node, thyroid gland, breast, liver, or pancreas2.

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Topics: Anesthesia & Pain Medicine, Interventional Ultrasound, Endocrinology

Reduce the Risk of Contamination in Ultrasound-Guided Procedures

Posted by Erin Dougherty on Jun 18, 2019 12:52:59 PM

Infection prevention and control is a major focus of healthcare facilities to 1) lower the risk of patients contracting healthcare acquired infections (HAIs), 2) reduce costs that occur with HAIs, and 3) maintain compliance with The Joint Commission (TJC).

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Topics: Anesthesia & Pain Medicine, Interventional Ultrasound, Endocrinology

Ultrasound Probe Daily Transport: Does Your Transport Process Control Infection or Spread It?

Posted by Erin Dougherty on Jan 15, 2019 8:35:42 AM

In 2017, The Joint Commission released new data showing that many hospitals seeking accreditation continue to struggle with meeting infection control Standard IC.02.02.01: “The hospital reduces the risk of infection associated with medical equipment, devices, and supplies.”1 It is well known that the process of cleaning and high-level disinfecting ultrasound probes (which are considered semi-critical devices per the CDC, FDA, and Spaulding Classification) is crucial for infection control and patient safety.2

Proper reprocessing of devices involves a multi-step workflow that must be managed carefully to ensure the risk of contamination is controlled and minimized at every step.  Because the process is a progressive workflow, the effectiveness of each reprocessing step is only as reliable as the steps before and after it.

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Topics: Cardiology, Diagnostic Ultrasound

The Importance of Sterile Technique in Vascular Access Procedures

Posted by Erin Dougherty on Oct 8, 2018 8:01:06 AM

Why is it so important to practice sterile technique during vascular access procedures as a part of the overall infection control protocol in ultrasound? Before we help answer that question, let’s look at a few numbers regarding some of the potential complications from vascular access procedures1,2:

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Topics: catheter-related bloodstream infection

The Joint Commission and Infection Control Compliance: Confusion or Confidence?

Posted by Erin Dougherty on Jun 1, 2018 1:09:31 PM

Patient safety and maintaining The Joint Commission (TJC) accreditation standards are two of the most important (if not THE most important) objectives of today’s healthcare administrators and practitioners. However, they are often two of the most difficult objectives of which to achieve 100% satisfaction or compliance.

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Topics: Cardiology, Diagnostic Ultrasound, Men's Health

Can a Probe Cover Simplify Your Workflow for Ultrasound Guided Procedures?

Posted by Erin Dougherty on Apr 27, 2018 1:42:00 PM

When ultrasound is used for point-of-care needle guided procedures, including vascular access or regional anesthesia, it is recommended by the FDA and the CDC that a single-use, disposable probe cover be used on the ultrasound probe for each procedure.

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Topics: Anesthesia & Pain Medicine, Interventional Ultrasound, Cardiology, Diagnostic Ultrasound, Men's Health