Commitment To Patient Safety

Our HLD Methods Were Not Adequate

“We realized we really weren’t performing high level disinfection (HLD) of ultrasound transducers like we should be,” says Dr Peter McGovern, Medical Director for University Reproductive Associates (URA). “When I called other colleagues, I learned most physicians weren’t implementing HLD either.” It was at this point when Dr. McGovern realized their current HLD methods were not adequate and he began searching for alternative options that would ensure safety for patients while meeting the latest global guidelines.

URA’s Quest For Excellence

University Reproductive Associates of New Jersey is the Tri-state area’s leading fertility clinic providing a full range of infertility treatments. The staff of doctors routinely research the latest safety guidelines and best practices that maximize safety and minimize risks to mother and baby during infertility treatments. URA’s ultimate goal is a healthy term baby and mother.

“To deliver maximum patient safety, disinfection and infection control methods need to meet or exceed today’s demanding requirements.” Dr Peter McGovern, Medical Director, URA.

“After investigating Nanosonics’ trophon technology, we quickly realized it was the only option available that would keep our patients safe and give us peace of mind.”

Prior Disinfection Procedure

A typical morning at URA would include approximately 40 patients with appointments for vaginal ultrasound exams beginning at 7:00 am. According to URA’s 14-year veteran Nursing Supervisor, Michelle Gambro, RN, BSN, “Because we have such a busy, fast-paced practice, the traditional CIDEX soaking methods in between each patient was not an option for URA.  Soaking the ultrasound probes outside of the patient care area was logistically challenging, time-consuming and involved multiple steps and quality control measures, so instead, we wiped down the probes between each patient and then applied a condom. At the end of the day we would perform the CIDEX soak,” she explains. Michelle adds that she was always uncomfortable because, from the patient’s perspective, it may appear that the probes weren’t adequately cleaned between patient exams.

Keeping Patients Safe

URA purchased their first trophon EPR units in January 2017, and today the practice has seven units supporting three offices. Before each patient exam, the sterilized probe is removed from the trophon unit and a condom is applied. After the exam, the condom is removed and discarded. Once the probe is wiped down, it is then placed back in the trophon unit for disinfection.

“Some patients who have been to other practices will recognize the trophon and appreciate our commitment to safety and others will ask what it is,” says Gambro. “This is a great opportunity for us to explain to our patients the potential of infectious disease transmission via ultrasound probes and how using the trophon system helps reduce this risk substantially.”

Clinical studies have shown that up to 7% of endocavity ultrasound probes remain contaminated with high-risk human papilloma virus (HPV) DNA after ultrasound examinations and routine disinfection. The trophon EPR system was the first device proven to kill native (natural form) cancer-causing HPV.

OK, Next?

Every three years URA undergoes a full inspection by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), an advocate for the provision of high-quality healthcare through the development and adoption of nationally-recognized standards. The AAAHC’s Certificate of Accreditation demonstrates an organization’s commitment to provide safe, high quality services to its patients.

“For URA, the primary focus of the inspection has been disinfection and infection control practices,” says Gambro. “Now, when I show the inspector the trophon machines, they say, ‘OK, next?’ We know that trophon HLD is the‘gold standard for maintaining patient and user safety by reducing the risks of cross-contamination between patients and reducing the spread of HAIs,” continues Gambro. “This knowledge further elevates our confidence in patient safety.”

The Balance

Dr McGovern wants to make sure he’s always doing the right thing for his patients. Implemnting this protocol ensures pataient safety is of the highest importance.

“Before trophon, we probably had a faster probe cleaning cycle time, but we were not doing HLD like we should have been,” he says. “Now, having the peace of mind that patients are safe and our infection control procedures are impeccable is worth the extra two minutes – there’s a balance you have to obtain.”