How Important is Water Quality?

How Important is Water Quality?

Although not the first step that comes to mind when considering TEE probe reprocessing, high-level disinfection would be impossible without rinsing. Rinsing actually must take place twice throughout the entire reprocessing procedure: once after cleaning and once after high-level disinfection.

The quality of that water is of extreme importance, especially the water used after the high-level disinfection. If the water used to rinse the probe after disinfection is not absolutely clean and free from harmful bacteria and microorganisms, it can contaminate the probe and lead to illness of a patient.

This is especially true for reprocessing departments being run within older healthcare facilities. The plumbing for older buildings is usually located deep underground below the building; as a result, if the building is old, the pipes which carry water to the building are at least as old. This means that, in some cases, the pipes can actually be corroded and can transmit bacteria and viruses such as Legionnaires' disease. This poses a great risk to patients and to the facility which can be held liable for such an outbreak.

Currently, standards for water quality are set by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI). AAMI publishes a comprehensive Technical Information Report (TIR) called TIR34 – Water for the Reprocessing of Medical Devices. While the current AAMI TIR34 guidelines are rather extensive, they will soon be replaced by an updated standard, AAMI ST108. As this new standard goes into effect, healthcare facilities will need to pay more attention than ever to the quality of the water used for reprocessing medical devices.

This is a case where automation can make a big difference. Rather than having to wonder whether or not the water from the tap is clean enough to rinse a disinfected TEE probe, using an automated reprocessor like the TEEClean® Automated TEE Probe Cleaner Disinfector can save the headache. TEEClean was engineered to incorporate an FDA-cleared 0.005 micron water filter for each rinse cycle, certifying that the water is free from any particulate matter and from any contaminants which could be harmful to patients. That is forty times more filtration power than the CDC's baseline recommendation.

The water used to rinse TEE ultrasound probes is of great importance. Make sure that your probes remain properly disinfected by focusing on the quality of the water used to rinse them in your healthcare facility.

About CS Medical

CS Medical LLC has pioneered the automated disinfection process for Transesophageal ultrasound probes with the development and release of the TD 100® Automated TEE Probe Disinfector. In 2005, the TD 100 was the first FDA cleared automated disinfection process with printed verification for Transesophageal ultrasound probes. During the disinfection process, the TEE probe receives high-level disinfection in (5) five minutes from TD-5® or TD-8® followed by (5) five complete rinse cycles before disinfection confirmation is acknowledged and a report is printed. The verification report indicates probe contact time with the high-level disinfectant as well as the average temperature of the single-use disinfectant during each cycle.

For more than 15 years and over 4 million high-level disinfections, the TD 100 Automated TEE Probe Disinfector has eliminated manual reprocessing of delicate and expensive TEE ultrasound probes while also providing a repeatable and FDA cleared disinfection process. The TEEClean® Automated TEE Probe Cleaner Disinfector will continue the TD 100's work by automating the required cleaning process for the TEE probe before high-level disinfection. TEEClean, with electronic record data logging, printed verification reporting, FDA cleared cleaning, and high-level disinfection will be the standard of care for TEE ultrasound probes.

CS Medical's TEE Complete Care® products provide quality device care and storage by minimizing healthcare operational costs, improving service readiness and increasing regulatory compliance.

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