The Golden Rule: Timely Advice for Endoscopy Precleaning


The clock is ticking after every endoscopy procedure with only minutes to transfer the patient and turn over the treatment room. Why spend valuable time with endoscope precleaning?

Soils begin to dry and biofilm forms within minutes after the end of an endoscopic procedure. Endoscope manufacturer instructions (IFUs) emphasize the importance of immediate post procedure precleaning, flushing and transport that ensures endoscopes arrive at the final cleaning process within a “golden hour” time limit.


AAMI ST91 and Multi-Society Guidelines also emphasize the importance of immediate precleaning. Now it is time for endoscopy departments to step up with protocols, training and supplies supporting staff compliance. There are three critical elements for reducing dried soils inside endoscopes: Time, time and time!


  • The time to start endoscopy pretreatment is immediately after patient procedure. Scheduling and staffing must account for this vital but time-consuming procedure.

  • Time is not on your side with immediate bedside cleaning. Supplies should be readily available, easy to use and work quickly at room temperature. Supplies should measure correct volume of flushing liquid for each endoscope.

  • Room turnover time is limited. Use disposable single use work surface covers to reduce clean-up time. An absorbent padded cover with biohazard markings would help contain and protect the endoscope while communicating biohazards in transit.


Remember the Golden Rule for endoscopy reprocessing: Start precleaning immediately at bedside and complete transport to final cleaning within one hour. Ensure compliance with the right supplies and training.