7 Ways Integrated Light Sources Can Reduce Error During Anoscopy Procedures
For years, medical professionals have relied upon traditional light sources when performing procedures that require examination of a patient’s anus or lower rectum. In recent years, the introduction of single-use anoscopes that feature an integrated light source has revolutionized these types of procedures by reducing the risk of infection and optimizing convenience for medical providers. Below is a look at some of the common challenges faced during anoscopy procedures and seven ways integrated light sources can minimize errors for medical staff.
What are some of the challenges faced during anoscopy procedures?
The majority of anoscopy procedures are performed by colorectal specialists who are responsible for controlling infection and optimizing comfort for patients and staff. Achieving these goals requires the use of a clean, sterile anoscope and light source. Unfortunately, anoscopy procedures are not always successful and sometimes result in diagnostic errors or other problems. Some of the most prevalent challenges facing medical professionals who perform anoscopy procedures are as follows:
1) Infection control
“Seventy-one percent of reusable medical scopes deemed ready for use on patients tested positive for bacteria at three major U.S. hospitals, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Infection Control.”
– Chad Terhune, Kaiser Health News
Anytime medical professionals conduct procedures with reusable equipment, patients and staff are subject to a heightened risk of infection. Infection typically occurs when patients or staff come into contact with used medical devices that have not been properly sterilized following a procedure with an infected patient.
2) Heat emission
Traditional light sources used to illuminate the anus and lower rectum may emit heat during procedures, especially if those light sources feature xenon or halogen lighting. This emission of heat during a procedure can result in conditions that could be uncomfortable for medical professionals and patients alike.
3) Keeping track of equipment components
Traditional light sources often feature multiple components which require storage and replacement when they are lost or damaged. Examples of components include the console, connector cables, and power cords. These pieces are in addition to the anoscope itself, which is often stored separately.
4) Sterilization challenges
Reusable anoscopes and endoscopy equipment must be properly sterilized prior to use. If a facility’s sterilizer is in use or malfunctioning, there will be procedural delays that could interfere with patient care and limit revenue.
5) Training time
Proper training is essential to accurate anoscopy. Training practitioners and support staff to use traditional anoscopes with separate light sources requires time, observation, and practice. Treatment teams must also learn how to clean, sterilize, and store equipment, which requires additional time and resources.
6) Limited access to power in rural areas
Anoscopy procedures are growing in popularity in Sub-Saharan Africa and other developing areas where access to electricity and power is limited or sporadic. Because traditional light sources often require electricity, their ability to provide light can be impeded during blackouts or power failures.
How can integrated light sources minimize errors during anoscopy procedures?
As outlined above, practitioners face an array of challenges when using anoscopes. Fortunately, the advent of single-use anoscopes with integrated light sources has eliminated or significantly reduced many of these challenges. Here are some of the ways integrated light sources reduce errors during anoscopy procedures:
1) Minimize heat output
In contrast to many free-standing light sources that feature halogen or xenon light, anoscopes with integrated light sources feature bright LED light that is cooler and more comfortable for patients and medical staff alike. By helping to reduce heat and minimize undue stress on medical professionals during procedures, integrated light sources help minimize errors.
2) Optimize convenience
By eliminating the need for a separate light source, integrated light sources provide a treatment solution that is more compact and lighter weight. Medical personnel no longer need to keep track of light cables, power cords, and bulbs. Anoscopes with integrated light sources can be packed in a bag for easy transport from one location to another or packaged for safe transport on a plane.
3) Eliminate the need for a power source
Integrated light sources are eco-friendly and do not require electricity or current. Additionally, users traveling overseas do not have to worry about blown transformers or a free-standing light source’s compatibility with local voltage requirements.
4) Reduce infection
Integrated light sources that are featured in single-use devices eliminate the need to reuse scopes and cables. Contact with reusable light sources and scopes that contain harmful bacteria is minimized for patients and staff because users simply dispose of the devices following their use.
5) Maximize efficiency in rural areas
Integrated light sources are an excellent option for practices in rural areas and developing countries where access to power and replacement parts is limited. Additionally, mission organizations who travel to remote locations do not have to worry about attempting to transport heavy light sources overseas.
6) Minimize costs
Single-use anoscopes and other devices with integrated light sources eliminate the need to purchase replacement parts such as bulbs, cables, and cords. Additionally, training time is minimized because staff only need to learn how to use one product as opposed to multiple devices. The end result is cost savings that enhance the bottom line for many medical offices.
7) Eliminate equipment maintenance woes
Reusable light sources must be regularly inspected and serviced by a trained biomedical technician or engineer. This maintenance requires planning, scheduling, and expense for medical facilities. Additionally, practitioners cannot use equipment while it is being serviced. Anoscopes with integrated light sources eliminate these challenges because they are not reused, thereby requiring no maintenance.
The Bottom Line
Integrated light sources offer a host of benefits to medical professionals seeking to minimize errors and maximize infection control during anoscopy procedures. From unparalleled convenience to superb ease of use, an integrated light source offers the latest in cutting-edge technology while eliminating procurement hassles. We invite you to contact us at obp to learn more about the benefits of integrated light sources. We look forward to serving as your trusted resource for single-use medical devices!