Following the positive feedback from its two-day decontamination event, BES Healthcare is gearing up to host more days of informative talks on 5 and 6 September 2018. The seminar days are to discuss current and relevant topics for theatres, sterile services, and endoscopy.

BES Healthcare’s previous seminar days featured speakers such as Wayne Spencer, authorising engineer and director of Spencer Nickson; 20/30 Labs’ research and technical manager Zoe Fayers-Rust; and president of the Flemish Sterilisation Club, Geert Ballyn.

The talks ranged from lean management within the NHS, latest requirements for sealers and pouches, new standards of processes in sterile services, and the importance of getting the right equipment on time within theatres. Delegates were left with much food for thought regarding their processes and equipment. Here is a glimpse of some of the previous talks:

Lean management

Last year’s event began with a presentation by BES CEO Leyton Stevens on the benefits of lean management and how the technique can be applied within the NHS. Leyton explained how the lean management approach can assist in improving patient safety and the patient experience, along with minimising waste, and making budgets go further.

Modular software delivers stress-free integration between departments

Geert Ballyn, central sterile services department (CSSD) manager at a multi-site hospital in Belgium and president of the Flemish Sterilisation Club, presented his experiences in developing the Aexis quality management system. Having previously worked in theatres, Geert’s understanding of both theatres’ and sterile services’ requirements played a crucial role in the development of Aexis. His hands-on approach and pioneering attitude allowed him to pinpoint multiple key performance indicators (KPIs) in both departments. Geert’s vision was of a fully integrated solution which enabled theatres and the CSSD to communicate effectively – a full quality management system, not just track and trace.

Since 2003, Geert has worked with Aexis Medical to develop the MLine system which shows real-time information on planning, workflow, and logistics, all linked to patient data.

The system comprises fully integrated modules for each department that enable real time visibility. The more modules a hospital uses, the more efficient, cost and time saving the solution becomes. Such is its success, Aexis Medical MLine modules are now installed in over 75 per cent of Belgian hospitals.

Mitigating the risks of underperforming endoscope equipment

Erik Bockweg, commercial director of Zign Medical, mentioned that there are currently no structural processes in place to assess the quality of endoscopes and light cables. The sector is self-regulated and has published best practice guidelines. In a study, out of 258 light cables tested, 34 per cent were below the acceptable light transmission level.

 Bad light passage makes for bad visibility. This, in turn, can lead to the surgeon turning up the light intensity, resulting in potential burns. Leaking electric current means internal burns, and sharp edges on scopes mean internal damage.

This leads to extra costs (as money is being spent on replacing equipment), over processing, unnecessary damage, and disposal of equipment. The cable is often deemed unfit when it is actually the endoscope that may be the problem. The average cost of a cable is £175 each, with some hospitals spending about £23,000 a year replacing them.

Zign Medical’s MedZense LG20-e tests light cables and endoscopes, helping to mitigate risk by enabling structural testing of equipment. The MedZense allows hospitals to efficiently assess the light transmission quality of both rigid scopes and light cables. The device tests the light transmission by passing different wavelengths of light through the cables and scope. It is also the only device of its kind capable of testing ENDOEYE scopes. No other unit tests the cable quality across the full visible light spectrum.

For diathermy instruments, Erik mentioned the Entrhal Diateg Professional. The Diateg unit tests the insulation of diathermy instruments, reducing the risk of burns and Never Events during surgery. It detects the smallest of insulation failures, including those not picked up in a visual inspection, ensuring the current does not arc through any compromised areas of insulation in the instrument. This enables sterile services to make fit for purpose diathermy instruments available in an efficient manner.

What should we expect from a hydrogen peroxide steriliser?

Zoe Fayers-Rust, research and technical manager at 20/30 Labs, described the work to test the SPS hydrogen peroxide steriliser against other low temperature sterilisers on the market, and the associated development of the machine.

Challenges encountered during the testing meant that improvements to the machine were carried out along the way. These changes contributed to an improved sterilisation level, with no growth shown on any of the double-wrapped process challenging devices and ISO 15883 surrogates. The steriliser even managed to be fully effective deep into 1,500mm long lumens.

How clean is clean?

Dr Barend ter Haar, chairman of BES, hosted a talk in which he stated that cleaning is the most important part of the decontamination process. This talk raised the questions including: how do we tell if something is clean; what tools do we have to measure cleanliness; how well do our washers work; since their last validation, have our washers been washing up to standard?

From equipment to process – the changing world of standards

While equipment standards have been well established in the UK and Europe, at an international level the focus is on process standards. Wayne Spencer, authorising engineer and director of Spencer Nickson, described the latest process standards emerging within Europe from ISO Technical Committee 198.

Wayne spoke about the new ISO 17664 standard: “Information to be provided by the medical device manufacturer for the processing of medical devices”. He emphasised the importance of validation of complete processes from cleaning to sterilisation over the validation of equipment independently.

Upcoming BES Healthcare seminar days

Alongside refocused popular talks from last year’s event, this year’s seminar days are to feature talks including: Challenging processes in the decontamination cycle; HTM01-01 cleaning efficacy and the pragmatism around standards and guidelines; the storage and transportation secrets of one of Europe’s largest CSSDs; and how to effectively remove biofilms.

The BES Healthcare seminar days are to take place at the Imperial Hotel, London, on 5 and 6 September 2018. 

For further information on BES Healthcare’s seminar event call BES Healthcare on 01179 666 761, or email info@beshealthcare.net.