AAMI Announces Newly Updated Standard on Endoscope Cleaning

By A.J. Plunkett

The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) just announced the release of an updated version of ANSI/AAMI ST91:2021 Flexible and semi-rigid endoscope processing in health care facilities.

The last version of the standard formulated by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and AAMI was released in 2015.

While not specifically cited in The Joint Commission’s (TJC) main Infection Control standard, IC.02.02.01, on reducing the risk of infection with medical equipment, devices and supplies, ANSI/AAMI ST91 is cited as a resource by TJC and by the CDC in its recommendations on “Essential Elements of a Reprocessing Program for Flexible Endoscopes.”

Getting endoscopes clean and protecting them from contamination remains a key concern by TJC, CMS and other watchdogs. Endoscope infection control is a commonly cited problem when TJC initiates a immediate threat to health and safety finding during a survey.

According to AAMI, the updated version of ANSI/AAMI ST91 includes information “for cleaning and storing a long list of medical devices, such as flexible bronchoscopes and various endoscopes,” and “has been updated to reflect the consensus of industry, clinicians, and sterilization professionals from around the world.”

The improved guidance, according to AAMI, also “addresses new technologies as well as concerns about medical device cleanliness and patient safety.”