Spreadsheet ninjas in the CSSD have an awesome quality and up-time!

dovideqmedical
AdobeStock_226070666
It may not sound like much fun to keep track of the repair history of each of your scopes, but it's really beneficial for your bottomline and overall quality.
In the rush of the sterilization department, it's all too simple to just use a scope, clean it, use it again, and send it out if it breaks. Keeping track of the repairs you've made, as well as evaluating this repair chart on a regular basis, can reveal a lot about your scope, your repair company and, potentially, your own department.

Getting Started With Tracking Your Scopes

To begin, think about making a single functional testing page for each scope. We have a template for you here.
On it you will find the scope's make, model, and serial number.
As needed, record if it needs repairs on the other side, as well as the cost and who did them.
Take a look at the entries over time. Do you notice any trends?
 
If you have a recurrent repair, you should consider the following:
                •    - Is there a larger issue that isn't being addressed in this scope?
  •    - Is this recurring error due to workers mishandling the equipment?
  •    - Do you need to instruct newer employees on how to properly care for and handle your scopes?
  •    - Is there anything else a doctor has to know about how to keep his scope performing well?
  •    - Is your scope repair firm performing the work correctly?
  •    - Is your scope simply becoming old and it's time to retire?
 
Ensure you're looking at repairs for all scopes, not just the one you're working on. It's possible that patterns of use, or mis-use, will arise. Of course, if you don't want to go through this hassle, why not try an off the shelf solution? 

Finding Patterns

Examine repair patterns to evaluate if you have an unusually high rate of fluid invasion. One of the most expensive, time-consuming, and harmful service issues is fluid invasion. It's also one of the easiest to avoid. There are automated testing systems that find particles in your endoscopes.
Review proper leak-testing techniques with your personnel, as well as normal handling and cleaning protocols, if you're having recurring difficulties with fluid invasion. There are other lesser-known leak-testing techniques and items to look for (such as the age of your water/sealing caps (max. 18 months) that can help.
Inquire with your scope repair firm or manufacturer for assistance in these areas.
 
Another thing to keep an eye on is how often you use a scope. The more a scope is used (and cleaned), the faster it deteriorates and becomes susceptible to breaking.
Also, keep in mind that a teaching facility may make your endoscopes more prone to breakdowns, because of the handlers' inexperience. 

Keep an Eye on Your Scope Repair Company

Price per repair and turnaround time are two factors to keep an eye on when it comes to your scope repair company's performance. Minor fixes should only take a day or two to complete. 90% of your repairs should be minor. Major repairs should account for only 10% of your total. With a few exceptions, most significant repairs should take no more than a week to complete.
There are automated systems available in the market to decrease the turnaround time for you and your repair company. More can be found here.
If your repair service is taking longer than expected, or you see that a high percentage of your repairs are "serious" and/or require a total overhaul, you should get a second opinion on your overall scope repair problem and what other vendor options are available.
You should also inquire about how much of the job your repair shop does in-house rather than outsourcing. Is your turnaround being slowed by third-party outsourcing? Unbeknownst to you there is a thriving business in more difficult repairs. Your endoscope may have traveled continents for a repair! 

Evaluating Your Repair Company

Don't forget that these are your scopes and they belong in your hospital, not at the repair company!
If they can't solve it right away, they must explain why and provide you with options.
Keep track of your repair expenditures as well. Don't be scared to ask other scope repair companies how much similar repairs would cost. They are here to help! A price list will be provided by many. Some companies even feature a pricing list, or at least a portion of one, on their websites.
Compare pricing from different sellers. Check to see if the costs you're paying are reasonable. You might decide that you need to talk to your present repair provider about fees, or you might decide to look for another repair supplier. You may eventually decide that the expense of constantly fixing your scope (and the related downtime) is more than the cost of purchasing a new scope. This is especially true with older scopes.
 

 Your Cleaning Process

Also, keep an eye on the cleaning process. Some techniques are more deteriorating on equipment than others.
Furthermore, switching from one approach to another may cause issues that were before undetectable. Your repair shops and manufacturers should be able to assist you in this regard.
Make sure that when you change chemicals, they are not detrimental to your quality and is accepted by your manufacturer. Check before you act.
 
To summarize, keep an eye on the following repair aspects and assess them appropriately:
  1.     1. Age of the scope
  2.     2. Frequency of use of scope
  3.     3. Cleaning method
  4.     4. Type of repair
  5.     5. Frequency of repair
  6.     6. Cost of repair
        7. Turnaround time for repair

Contact us for Help With Scope Testing

Running a sterilization department can be tough, but devoting some time and effort to these reports and analyses can result in better scope maintenance, less downtime, reduced repair costs, better budget adherence, better staff training, and a better understanding of when new equipment is needed.
Remember that you can always seek assistance from your scope repair business or manufacturer.
 
You can contact us via info@dovideqmedical.com for more information about endoscope testing, reporting and management.



Recent Posts