A new sampling algorithm demonstrates that ultrasound equipment cleanliness can be improved

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Abstract

Background:

Australia has established guidelines on cleaning for reusable ultrasound probes and accompanying equipment. This is a preliminary study investigating cleanliness standards of patient-ready ultrasound equipment in 5 separate health care facilities within a major city.

Methods:

The cleanliness was assessed using rapid adenosine triphosphate (ATP) testing used with a sampling algorithm which mitigates variability normally associated with ATP testing. Each surface was initially sampled in duplicate for relative light units (RLUs) and checked for compliance with literature recommended levels of cleanliness (<100 RLUs). Triplicate sampling was undertaken where necessary. A cleaning intervention step (CIS) followed using a disposable detergent wipe, and the surface was retested for ATP.

Results:

There were 253 surfaces tested from the 5 health care facilities with 26% (66/253) demonstrating either equivocal or apparent lack of cleanliness. The CIS was conducted on 148 surfaces and demonstrated that for >91% (135/148) of surfaces, the cleaning standards could be improved significantly (P > .001). For 6% (9/148) of devices and surfaces, the CIS needed to be repeated at least once to achieve the intended level of cleanliness (<25 RLUs).

Conclusions:

This study indicates that ATP testing is an effective, real-time, quality assurance tool for cleanliness monitoring of ultrasound probes and associated equipment.

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