Flexible Endoscope Preventative Maintenance & Minor Repairs

The new Scope Requirements announced by the Joint Commission a few months ago highlight the trend MER has seen towards the increasing role of Clinical Engineering with regards to inventory management, preventative maintenance schedules and repair cost reduction of flexible endoscope.  With this increased responsibility comes an increased need for knowledge.

For decades the OEM and most ISO’s have kept this knowledge shrouded in a cloak of mystery, presuming that no mere mortal BMET could undertake the preventative maintenance and repair of these expensive,  delicate instruments.

Recently a well-respected member of the biomed community shared his disdain for the ISO concept of Flexible Endoscope Preventative Maintenance.  “At the end of the “PM”, the ISO typically hands the hospital a list of repair recommendations. This is kind of like taking your car to a mechanic, asking him to recommend work that may be needed, with the mechanic knowing that you’re going to pay him to “fix” everything he recommends.  If your looking for a PM program to perform in-house, you might want to check your scopes for wear, angulation, o-rings on air/ water buttons, and of course leaks.”

OK, so you’ve checked your scopes for wear, angulation issues, o-rings and leaks.  Now what?  Send it to the OEM?  Send it to an ISO?  How about fix it In-House. Whether it is a first call approach or a complete repair depot there is tremendous value in having in-house flexible scope repair capabilities.  Everyone benefits – the facility, the doctors, the patients, the departments, and YOU.

With the help of MER’s Flexible Endoscope Repair Training Program, more and more brave biomeds have dared to pull back the curtain and found that scope wizardry is not rocket science.  As a result MER has experienced a 125% enrollment increase over the past 3 years.   Since 1998 MER has trained technicians from the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia to repair flexible endoscopes.  If they can do it, you can too.

With 5 days of training and less than the cost of 1 OEM rebuild, a BMET can perform 60% of repairs in house, and over half of these repairs can be done within 1 hour or less. Scope repairs can be done in any bio-med shop equipped with a 96” x 30” anti-static bench. There are a few specialty tools needed to open the scope, but other than that you use standard bench tools.

Because Olympus® holds 85% of the world market share, parts availability for this brand is greater than Fujion® or Pentax®.  In the past 20 years an entire industry has grown around replacement part for Olympus ® endoscopes, but all parts are not created equal.  Part of the MER program is using our 20 years of researching the highest quality parts to ensure that your parts  meet or exceed OEM standards.   With an in-house repair program for Olympus ® flex scopes your Service Value Ratio for these instruments can be 5-8%.

The  MER Flexible endoscope repair program is taught in 3 phases that allow you to take it from the level of mastering flexible scope preventative maintenance and performing minor repairs through complete self-sufficiency.  It’s all about what makes sense for your facility size, equipment inventory and volume of endoscopic procedures.  We can even help you set up your own in-house loaner program.

MER is currently enrolling for our 2011 classes.

Phase 1 – Introduction to Endoscopes, Minor Repairs, and Angulation Rubbers

Phase 2 – Internal Component Replacement

Phase 3 – Major Repairs and Rebuilds

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