Archive Gastroenterology 2019

Your Endoscope Is On the Fritz, Now What?

Partnering with the right service provider will get it back quickly and in good working order.

Mike Morsch

Mike Morsch, Associate Editor

BIO

NOT AGAIN
NOT AGAIN Materials Manager Jimmy Henderson gets frustrated when endoscopes need to be shipped out for repair, but knows they won't be sidelined for long.

Is it any wonder why endoscopes are often in need of repair? They're inserted deep into patients, bent to extreme angles and subjected to repeated high-level disinfection cycles. Control knobs break, insertion tubes buckle, elevator wires snap and camera lenses crack. When scopes break down from misuse, abuse, or normal wear and tear, you can ship them out to the original manufacturer, or you can trust a third-party repair company to send them back good as new. There's no correct answer, but asking yourself these 6 questions will help you make the right choice for your facility.

1. Can they provide loaners?

Endoscope manufacturers have large product inventories that let them loan out the latest scope technologies when your primary devices are offline, says Xi Chen, PhD, a principal analyst at Decision Resources Group in Toronto, Canada. "You can always rely on scope manufacturers to offer loaner scopes that match the quality and performance of the ones you're having repaired."

That's not necessarily true with third-party companies, which often can't match the in-house resources of scope manufacturers and therefore might provide older models or another brand that aren't equivalent matches, says Dr. Chen.

Get a service provider to commit to the number of loaners you'll receive and a guarantee that the loaned instruments will match the quality of the devices you're currently using, says Nancy Chobin, RN, RN, CSPDM, CFER, president of Sterile Processing University in Lebanon, N.J. "Request that that information is agreed upon upfront and included in the service contract before signing it," she says.

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