The Joint Commission (TJC) states: “Standardizing the use of high-level disinfectants and sterilization practices are critical for ensuring that medical equipment, devices, and supplies do not transmit infectious agents to patients.”1
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.
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.
The required use of a probe cover for every endocavity ultrasound procedure has been well established by standards set by governing bodies and industry associations. And the use of an intracavity probe cover does not change the necessity for high-level disinfect or store the endocavity probes properly post-procedure.1,2 When considering which endocavity cover to use, questions that often arise include:
- Are probe covers reliable?
- What can or should be used as a probe cover?
- Are condoms better than probe covers?
Topics: Men's Health
The Joint Commission (TJC) was founded in 1951, with an inspiring vision to transform how people experience healthcare across all settings. In this new era, The Joint Commission would evaluate organizations and encourage them to continuously improve public healthcare by providing a patient
experience that is safe, effective, and of the highest quality care and value.1 One area The Joint Commission survey focuses on is the cleaning and disinfecting of ultrasound probes.
What’s the problem?
As the steps to reprocess medical devices using high-level disinfection increase and the population of patients imaged increases, non-compliance in the disinfection process increases proportionately.
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.
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.
Introducing Automated Disinfection Systems for Ultrasound Transducers
With the steady growth of ultrasound combined with an increasing awareness of infection control practices, medical device manufacturers have recently developed automated reprocessors for ultrasound transducers. Automated disinfection systems help to standardize disinfection processes, improve staff workflow, and meet compliance standards – the sum of which improves patient and staff safety.
Topics: Men's Health
The Joint Commission (TJC) has defined guidelines on storage for semi-critical devices: