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How One Manufacturer Tackles Your Endoscope Drying and Storage Needs

Steris Corp.’s Reliance line of endoscope cabinets come with many industry-leading features for cleaning, drying and storage.

These include vertical hanging racks, gasket-less doors, an advanced HEPA-filtration system and barcode technology to better track when endoscopes are checked in or out.

Steris, based in Mentor, Ohio, has been shipping the Reliance line of endoscope cabinets since 2017. The 4000, 5000, and 6000 Series have variable sizes and customization options—more features are available as the series number increases—to suit a facility’s needs.

All of the models have vertical hanging racks, the preferred way to store endoscopes in peer-reviewed guidelines. They also have removable drip pan floors, making the floor easier to clean.

© STERIS

Another feature for easier cleaning: gasket-less doors made of tempered glass and stainless steel.

“Think about the rubber gasket around your refrigerator door,” says Sam Watkins, senior product manager at Steris. “They can be harbingers of bacteria, moisture, etc.  A stainless-steel door is easier to clean.”

All Reliance models can store six, 10, 16, or 20 scopes.

The Reliance 4000 Series is a storage cabinet. It has the features and capacity options mentioned above but does not have the more advanced features that are found with the 5000 and 6000 Series.

Those features include positive air pressure with HEPA filtration, and an add-on cabinet option.

Positive pressure and HEPA filtration help to prevent airborne contaminants from dirtying clean endoscopes. The air is changed every 20 seconds on average. Steris says this filtration removes 99.7 percent of particulates, up to 0.3 microns in size.

The Reliance 5000 and 6000 Series also come with optional add-on cabinets, without incurring the expense of adding another main control cabinet. The add-on cabinets have room for another six, 10, 16, or 20 scopes, making expansion more economical than buying a whole new unit.

The Reliance 6000 Series is the company’s top-of-the-line model. Options include installing channel-purging connectors to endoscopes, as well as the ability to track employee bar codes and scope hang times.

© STERIS

Channel-purging connectors outfit endoscopes with the three-phase HEPA-filtered air purging capability. This helps with drying the interior of the endoscopes and keeping the channels clean.

Employee access, meanwhile, can be managed using identification badges and barcode technology. Endoscopes are tracked when checked into or out of the cabinet, using barcodes, a touch screen or both.

The cabinet keeps track of not only who checks an endoscope in or out but how long it’s been hanging and when the air purge is active, said Watkins.

The maximum “hang time” can be customized between reprocessing, based on the facility’s own risk assessment. Once this is determined, the Reliance 6000 tracks those time intervals.

The scope’s location on the touch screen is marked green if there is more than a day before reprocessing is due. If there is less than one day before reprocessing is due, the scope’s location is yellow. The location on the touch screen is red if an endoscope’s hang time has elapsed.

This data can also be exported using a formatted USB drive.

Click here to find out whether your facility’s scopes are compatible with Reliance cabinets.

Visit Bedside Bronchoscopy to learn best practices for drying flexible endoscopes, the latest on storage techniques, hang-time guidelines from federal and professional agencies and much more.