Health economy

The true cost of reusable bronchoscopes

Do you know the true cost of using a reusable bronchoscope?

Using a bronchoscope costs more than the initial purchase price of equipment. Every step in the process of using, reprocessing, storing, and transporting a scope is another layer of expense to include in the calculation of costs of use. Besides, published literature reveals that there are also costs associated with the risks of not having a bronchoscope readily available when needed and the risk of cross-contamination.

Reprocessing an endoscope is a highly complex and expensive operation 

With more than 100 steps for reprocessing each endoscope after use, adherence to new complex guidelines (AAMI/ARON/SGNA) is both costly, time-consuming and occupying various resources. Based on a number of independent studies, cost associated with reprocessing is estimated to be between $50-$153 per cycle. An expense that is widely underestimated and a heavy contributor to the cost of bronchoscopy procedures.1

Do you think that a reprocessed bronchoscope is actually clean?

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The comprehensive reprocessing process demonstrated in a simplified overview

76 min

Estimated average reprocessing time

$50-$153

Estimated costs for endoscope reprocessing

Steps in reprocessing

1

Pre-Cleaning at Site of Use

2

Transport

3

Leak Testing

4

Manual Cleaning

5

High Level Disinfection & Rinsing

6

Inspection

7

Drying & Storage

8

Control

9

Use

10

Back to Cleaning

Single-use eliminates the need for reprocessing

As a single-use product, Ambu’s aScope 3 will not be held up in reprocessing, be out for repair or in use elsewhere. With the elimination of reprocessing, hospitals will save costs and release valuable resources for other procedures.

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Costs associated with repair of reusable bronchoscopes

It is inevitable. Reusable bronchoscopes break, from time to time, and require expensive repairs. As a matter of fact, a significant part of the budget of bronchoscopy units represents repair costs for damaged bronchoscopes. Most repairs pertain to the angulating tips, with leaks, tears and damaged vertebrae requiring different kinds of repairs ranged from relatively minor replacement of parts to substantial complete refurbishment that can take several weeks.2

Independent cost studies reveal an average cost of $3.259 per bronchoscope repair

A high frequency of repair and the amount of work associated with handling reusable scopes contribute to high usage costs
 

Eliminate repair costs with aScope 3

With the single-use aScope 3 there are no repair costs – because it is brand new, every time.
 

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Cost burden of capital investment
per procedure

Purchasing a reusable bronchoscope requires a significant capital investment due to their high price ranking from $12.000–$25.000. Depending on the size of the department and the number of procedures, more than one reusable bronchoscope is often needed to cover clinical needs.

A number of independent studies indicate an average cost of capital investment of $85 per procedure. 

The combination of capital investment, repair and reprocessing results in an average cost burden of $314 for every bronchoscopy procedure.

Bringing a bronchoscope to the ICU

This video discusses the processes involved in getting a bronchoscope to the ICU and how the costs add up to a per-use cost of more than the hospital staff often realize.  

Single use. New possibilities.

Instead of a huge investment up front the aScope 3 system offers a unique opportunity of “paying as you go.”

The aScope 3 system offers the choice of always having three different sizes readily available without having to invest in three expensive bronchoscopes.
 

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References

  1. Cori L. Ofstead et al 2017. “A Glimpse at the True Cost of Reprocessing Endoscopes: Results of a Pilot Project” In International Journal of Healthcare Central Service Material Management

  2. R. A. McCahon and D. K. Whynes 2015, Cost comparison of re-usable and single-use fibrescopes in a large English teaching hospital

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