ECRI 2019 Top 10 Hazards: Return of the Endoscopes

Endoscope reprocessing a familiar topic with 11th appearance on hazards list

Endoscope Reprocessing continues to challenge healthcare administrators, providers, and sterile processing departments. Landing in the #5 spot on the ECRI Institute’s 2019 Top 10 Health Technology Hazards, endoscope reprocessing makes its 11th all time appearance on the list. This year the ECRI focus is: “Mishandling Flexible Endoscopes after Disinfection Can Lead to Patient Infections.”

Explained further in the report, concerns highlighted in previous years—insufficient pre-cleaning as well as subsequent cleaning and high-level disinfection or sterilization—still require attention. Case Medical has created a endoscopy bedside cleaning kit to address this critical first step. Each kit comes with enough individually packaged enzymatic cleaner and wipes to pre-clean surfaces and channels for 12 endoscopes.

Post-processing mishandling of endoscopes introduces an additional layer of risk. A SteriTite® sealed container with biohazard tamper-evident seal is a safe and secure way to transport contaminated endoscopes for further processing.

“Failure to precisely follow a robust reprocessing protocol can lead to debilitating or even fatal infections. Less well known is that improper handling and storage practices can recontaminate previously disinfected scopes, heightening the risk of patient infections.”1
-ECRI Report

The ECRI report speaks to the importance of proper cleaning, which begins with pre-cleaning.

“If biologic debris and other foreign material is not cleaned from the endoscope first, residual soil can harden, making subsequent disinfection ineffective.”1

Endoscopes and accessories should be immediately cleaned after each patient procedure.

Learn about Case Medical solutions for pre-cleaning at point of use.

The ECRI report goes on to address instrument transportation and storage after reprocessing.

“Recontamination can also occur when transporting and storing endoscopes. Disinfected and dried endoscopes should be transported in a clean enclosed container…”1

Endoscopes should be transported in a properly labeled rigid container.

Learn about Case Medical solutions for endoscope transport.

To learn more about the ECRI Institute’s 2019 Top 10 Health Technology Hazards list and download the full report, please visit

1 ECRI Institute. 2019 Top 10 Health Technology Hazards: Executive Brief. Published October 2018. Accessed February 6, 2019.