Ofstead & Associates, Inc.
Ultrasound probes: Challenges, risks, and strategies for improving patient safety
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Eligible for 1.0 contact hour | HSPA | CBSPD | RN |
External and endocavitary ultrasound probes are used throughout healthcare facilities for a wide variety of procedures. Inadequate training and lack of standardization of reprocessing and maintenance protocols leads to poor adherence to best practices and raises risk of patient harm. In this webinar, two epidemiologists will discuss the basics of ultrasound probe use and reprocessing, summarize common challenges and clinical risks, and recommend strategies for quality improvement. This discussion will include an overview of ultrasound probes, recommendations for use of gel and sheaths, and evidence of patient harm associated with improperly reprocessed or maintained probes. Insights from auditing experience, guidelines, published literature, and government databases will be presented to empower frontline personnel to improve practices in their healthcare facility.
By the end of this one-hour webinar, participants will be able to:
- Discuss clinical risks associated with contaminated or damaged ultrasound probes
- Summarize guidelines for ultrasound probe reprocessing and quality assurance
- Explain how sheaths and gel contribute to probe contamination and infection risk
- Outline strategies for reducing risks associated with the use of ultrasound probes
- Observations from the field
- Basics on ultrasound probes
- Guidelines for ultrasound probe use and reprocessing
- Clinical risks and real-world challenges
- Strategies for assessing and improving practices
- Sponsor acknowledgement (Supported by an educational grant from Healthmark)
Cori L. Ofstead, MSPH
President & CEO, Ofstead & Associates
Cori L. Ofstead, MSPH, is an epidemiologist with 30 years of experience designing and conducting studies about the impact of clinical processes on patient outcomes. She has served as the Principal Investigator on numerous studies related to infection prevention, instrument reprocessing, and vaccination against infectious diseases. Ms. Ofstead is nationally recognized for her groundbreaking research, and her studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals including CHEST, AJIC, ICHE, Journal of Hospital Infection, Gastroenterology Nursing, and Vaccine. She currently serves as a reviewer for AJIC, Endoscopy, and the Journal of Urology, and is an active member of the editorial board for AJIC. She has presented the findings of her studies at national and international conferences sponsored by the CDC, APIC, IAHCSMM, AORN, SGNA, AGA, and several universities. In addition, she currently serves as a preceptor for epidemiology students in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota.
Abby G. Smart, MPH
Research Associate, Ofstead & Associates
Abby Smart has Bachelor of Arts degrees in Biology and Psychology and a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology. She joined the Ofstead team in 2019, where she performs literature reviews and participates in studies related to instrument reprocessing and infection control. Previously, she had experience in a variety of settings, including her work as a research assistant for a developmental psychology research group studying organ donation decision-making in young adults and the psychosocial well-being of immigrant children. Abby also served as a technician in virology and chemistry labs, where she focused on virus-assisted disruption of algae cell metabolism for biofuel production and chemical analysis of water and food products to support public health and environmental research. She has presented her research at the Midwest Psychological Association and the University of Minnesota Cognitive Psychology Seminar.