Study urges hospitals to consider obtaining sterile single-use bronchoscopes for routine procedures to improve hospital economy and patient safety.
Bronchoscopes – one of the most commonly used instruments in hospitals – not only put patients at risk of infection if they are not cleaned properly but can come with a heavy price tag for institutions that reprocess them for use on other patients.
A new study shows that hospitals that disinfect and reuse bronchoscopes pay more per instrument than if they had purchased a sterile single-use bronchoscope. The extra cost is $150 per use on average across the hospitals in the study and up to $500 per use at the hospital with the highest reported expenses for reusable bronchoscopes.
The study also found that:
- Reprocessing bronchoscopes was most often done by personnel who “lacked certification or adequate training.”
- Reprocessing practices in the field “do not meet current standards and guidelines.”
- “Substantial resources were spent re-reprocessing bronchoscopes that reached hang time limits.”
The study recommends that facilities obtain sterile single-use bronchoscopes for their routine procedures, for after hours and for emergency situations.
The study reports that “Site coordinators [at the hospitals in the study] identified suboptimal equipment and practices at all sites, and the study sparked assessments and quality improvements that will hopefully improve patient safety.”
Download entire press release as pdf: New study: Resuable bronchoscopes cost more than single-use bronchoscopes
Download the study: Managing Bronchoscope costs: Results of A real world study