The latest sterilization standard for endoscope reprocessing in healthcare facilities
The objective of ST91 is to provide comprehensive guidance to achieve best practice for each stage of processing flexible endoscopes as well for competency and education of staff. Meticulous attention to all steps in the processing of flexible endoscopes and accessories is critical to ensure that they are rendered safe for subsequent patient use. The updated standard provides new guidelines for precleaning, leak-testing, cleaning, packaging (where indicated), storage, high level disinfecting, and/or sterilizing of flexible gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopes; flexible bronchoscopes; flexible ear,
nose, and throat endoscopes; surgical flexible endoscopes (e.g., flexible ureteroscopes); and semi-rigid operative endoscopes (e.g., choledochoscopes) in health care facilities. These guidelines are intended to provide comprehensive information and
direction for health care personnel.
“We really beefed it up,” said Mary Ann Drosnock, director of Clinical Affairs at Healthmark Industries and a member of AAMI’s Endoscope Reprocessing Working Group (ST-WG 84) since its inception. “We wanted to make sure that everybody's voices were heard and that all comments were discussed and resolved properly,” she added. “There was no question afterwards. This guidance is about patient safety and we have the data baked in to support it.”
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