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Open Access Research article

Comparative cost-efficiency of the EVOTECH endoscope cleaner and reprocessor versus manual cleaning plus automated endoscope reprocessing in a real-world Canadian hospital endoscopy setting

Lindy Forte1* and Cynthia Shum2

Author Affiliations

1 VALORE Research, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

2 Johnson and Johnson Medical Products, Department of Health Economics & Outcomes Research, Markham, Ontario, Canada

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BMC Gastroenterology 2011, 11:105  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-11-105

Published: 3 October 2011

Abstract

Background

Reprocessing of endoscopes generally requires labour-intensive manual cleaning followed by high-level disinfection in an automated endoscope reprocessor (AER). EVOTECH Endoscope Cleaner and Reprocessor (ECR) is approved for fully automated cleaning and disinfection whereas AERs require manual cleaning prior to the high-level disinfection procedure. The purpose of this economic evaluation was to determine the cost-efficiency of the ECR versus AER methods of endoscopy reprocessing in an actual practice setting.

Methods

A time and motion study was conducted at a Canadian hospital to collect data on the personnel resources and consumable supplies costs associated with the use of EVOTECH ECR versus manual cleaning followed by AER with Medivators DSD-201. Reprocessing of all endoscopes was observed and timed for both reprocessor types over three days. Laboratory staff members were interviewed regarding the consumption and cost of all disposable supplies and equipment. Exact Wilcoxon rank sum test was used for assessing differences in total cycle reprocessing time.

Results

Endoscope reprocessing was significantly shorter with the ECR than with manual cleaning followed by AER. The differences in median time were 12.46 minutes per colonoscope (p < 0.0001), 6.31 minutes per gastroscope (p < 0.0001), and 5.66 minutes per bronchoscope (p = 0.0040). Almost 2 hours of direct labour time was saved daily with the ECR. The total per cycle cost of consumables and labour for maintenance was slightly higher for EVOTECH ECR versus manual cleaning followed by AER ($8.91 versus $8.31, respectively). Including the cost of direct labour time consumed in reprocessing scopes, the per cycle and annual costs of using the EVOTECH ECR was less than the cost of manual cleaning followed by AER disinfection ($11.50 versus $11.88).

Conclusions

The EVOTECH ECR was more efficient and less costly to use for the reprocessing of endoscopes than manual cleaning followed by AER disinfection. Although the cost of consumable supplies required to reprocess endoscopes with EVOTECH ECR was slightly higher, the value of the labour time saved with EVOTECH ECR more than offset the additional consumables cost. The increased efficiency with EVOTECH ECR could lead to even further cost-savings by shifting endoscopy laboratory personnel responsibilities but further study is required.