Synoptics Health, a manufacturer of innovative digital imaging systems for healthcare applications, has announced that its ProReveal is being used at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth to rapidly quantify how much protein remains on reprocessed surgical instruments. This is ensuring the cleaning process is performing effectively and is helping prevent patients at this hospital from accidentally contracting infections via protein contaminated surgical

Synoptics Health, based in Cambridge, UK is a division of the Synoptics Group of the AIM quoted Scientific Digital Imaging (SDI) Company based in Cambridge, UK. Synoptics is a world-leader in the development and manufacture of innovative digital imaging systems for a range of life science applications. The Group has two other divisions, Syngene and Synbiosis of which Syngene is the largest.

ProReveal, which is currently the only commercial in situ protein detection method available that complies with new UK Department of Health and Social Care guidelines, is being used at the Sterilisation and Decontamination Unit (SDU) at Derriford Hospital for rapid in-house testing to determine the cleaning efficiency of their washer-disinfector equipment. ProReveal uses fluorescence to measure how much protein remains on reprocessed surgical instruments and the test’s use at the hospital is making checking the cleaning process faster and more cost-effective.

Stephen King, Quality & Training Supervisor at Derriford Hospital SDU says: “We process approximately 21,000 tray sets of surgical instruments per month and are testing around 50-70 instruments per quarter per washer-disinfector. We were previously outsourcing and testing some instruments with swabs but because the swab method is not always suitable for detecting levels of contamination at five micrograms and below we knew that we needed a more accurate testing method, so we installed a ProReveal in 2017.”

He continues: “Using the ProReveal has helped us identify things we can change in our cleaning process and because we get empirical values we can track trends and see how to improve. The benefits of using the ProReveal are that we don’t have to outsource testing, so we don’t have to wait 30 days for test results, we can have them instantly and can address issues quickly. Our ProReveal is easy to use and is saving us money on outsourcing, while helping us monitor and improve our processes.”

Guy Fiddian, of Synoptics Health says: “We’re pleased that Derriford Hospital’s use of the ProReveal is helping its SDU have an in-house service to rapidly and accurately check the quality of its cleaning process. The cleanliness of surgical instruments is critical to patient safety and Derriford setting up and running its own in situ testing shows that this hospital is committed to putting patients first.”