Reprocessing TEE ultrasound probes can be a long and arduous process requiring lots of attention and allowing no room for mistakes. It can be pretty stressful. So once that process is done, it is easy to let down your guard when transporting TEE probes to and from the procedure room. This is a huge mistake.
One false move on the way to a procedure and that pristine probe will become contaminated and can put the patient's health at risk. Then, if a soiled probe is not carefully transported back to the reprocessing area, it can put staff and other patients' health in danger, too. People's health is not all that's at risk in these situations. The very delicate and expensive probe itself is at risk of damage when not carefully transported.
In light of these facts, it is unbelievable that so many facilities choose to allow their TEE ultrasound probes to be transported in pillowcases and even trash bags. Improper modes of transportation introduce unnecessary risk to patients, staff, probes, and the facility.
One of the best ways to significantly reduce these risks is by introducing a device to your facility which is designed to transport TEE probes securely from one location to another. The TPorter® TEE Ultrasound Probe Procedure Case is a perfect solution to the hazards associated with TEE probe transportation. It's tough polycarbonate construction keeps probes from damage while ensuring there is no way for the soil on a probe to seep through.
To make the best use of a TEE probe transportation case, like the TPorter, you must begin with a thoroughly dried and high-level disinfected probe. The insertion tube of the probe should be covered by a PullUp™ Probe Cover to maintain the disinfection status of the probe. Then, the covered probe may be gently placed into the appropriate molded compartment in the TPorter. The TPorter even helps ensure the integrity of the probe's cord by allotting space for the cord to be securely wound.
The TPorter also has convenient compartments to hold everything else that will be needed for the TEE procedure and after: bite blocks, one TEEZyme® enzymatically pre-saturated sponge, one PullUp™ Bio-Barrier Sleeve, and two red tie bands. The TPorter's lid should then be secured with two green tie bands. Now the probe is ready to be transported to the procedure room.
Immediately upon its removal from the patient, the TEE ultrasound probe's insertion tube must be precleaned with the TEEZyme sponge which was packed into the TPorter. Next, the insertion tube can be covered with the red PullUp Bio-Barrier sleeve to indicate that the probe is soiled and to help prevent cross-contamination. The covered probe can then be laced back into the TPorter's molded compartment and the TPorter's lid should be secured with the two red tie bands. Now the probe is ready to be safely transported back to the reprocessing area without risk of cross-contamination or damage to the probe.
Once the TPorter is back in the reprocessing area, it can be unloaded, cleaned, and reused for the next TEE probe.
This method for transporting TEE probes is an excellent way of keeping probes safe from damage and keeping everyone safe from dangerous healthcare associated infections (HAIs). And it's a method which is not only good in theory, but in practice. One example of what a difference such a simple change can make was experienced by Duke University Medical Center who reported that mechanical failures were reduced over 50% since utilizing the TPorter system. Introducing a scientific approach to the transportation of TEE probes can make a big difference in the quality and success of any healthcare facility.