Infection control and prevention is a primary focus of most healthcare facilities, but The Joint Commission (TJC) continues to evaluate it as one of the most common areas of non-compliance for accreditation in U.S.-based hospitals.
Reprocessing semi-critical ultrasound probes through high-level disinfection is a crucial step in achieving compliance with The Joint Commission. High-level disinfection (HLD) is the destruction of all microorganisms, except for some bacterial spores. Most ultrasound probes cannot be sterilized, as the process could damage or ruin the probe.
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM), and Association for the Advancement in Medical Instrumentation (AAMI)/American National Standards Institute (ANSI) have all issued reprocessing guidelines to ensure the high-level disinfection of ultrasound probes. Regulatory agencies in other countries have released or are working on similar recommendations around the globe.
"Probes such as rectal and vaginal, cryosurgical, and transesophageal (TEE) probes or devices also should be high-level disinfected between patients."
U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
"One should perform high-level disinfection of the internal probe between each use and employ an adequate probe cover as a protective barrier. For the purpose of this document, "internal probes" refers to all vaginal, rectal, and transesophageal probes, as well as intraoperative probes."
American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM)
Despite disinfection guidelines and recommendations, the path to infection control compliance with The Joint Commission can be daunting. CIVCO offers confident compliance with our full-spectrum approach to infection control, from point of care with ultrasound probe covers and guides to pre-clean, high-level disinfection, and storage of the ultrasound probes post-procedure.