​​​UHN’s Robert Pedretti, Aileen Gunda and Nagy Awad
UHN’s Robert Pedretti, Aileen Gunda and Nagy Awad showcase Central Processing Department’s new $1-million endoscope cleaning equipment (Photo: UHN)​

It looks like a modern Laundromat, acts like a glorified dishwasher and serves to improve patient care.

What is it? It's the new, state-of-the-art endoscope cleaning equipment at Toronto General Hospital – the largest installation of its kind in a Canadian hospital.

"It took over one year of planning and nearly one million dollars, but the seven machines are finally up and running," said Robert Pedretti, project manager in UHN's infrastructure department. "The modern technology will increase the efficiency of our Central Processing Department and in turn will result in better patient care."

'One-stop scrub shop'

The new machines, formally known as the BHT washer-disinfector Innova E4CMS, were ordered to replace UHN's older scope cleaning technology, and have become the one-stop scrub shop for endoscopes at TGH and the Princess Margaret.

What sets Innova apart from the rest is its sleek stainless-steel appearance, separate entry and exit doors that reduce the possibility of cross-contamination and faster turn-around time.  

The new Innova machines
The new Innova machines, pictured above, are built with separate entry and exit doors on each side to reduce the possibility of cross-contamination.(Photo: UHN)​​

Like most modern technology, Innova is paperless and stores processing results electronically on UHN's server. It also increases accountability of CPD technicians, by asking them to scan their ID badge when putting dirty equipment in and taking clean equipment out.

"It's our job to make sure endoscopes used in our hospitals are 100 per cent clean and free of contamination," said Nagy Awad, sterilizer specialist at Toronto General Hospital. "The new machine gives more assurance that each and every channel of the scope has been high-level disinfected which makes my job a little easier and increases my confidence in the quality of equipment we're giving to physicians."

UHN first hospital in Canada to introduce Innova's latest technology

Approximately 140 scopes are cleaned and used daily by physicians at TGH and the Princess Margaret for diagnostic testing and small procedures. Innova's enhanced efficiency means there is opportunity for additional scopes to be readily available. 

"One cleaning cycle on the old machine would take about 45 minutes to wash one scope whereas one Innova machine only takes 30 minutes to wash four scopes," said Aileen Gunda, manager of UHN's Central Processing Department. "If you multiply these time savings by seven machines, you can see how this will be a huge improvement."

UHN is the first hospital in Canada to introduce the latest Innova technology, and the manufacturer has said this is the largest installation in Canada and possibly the world. Other hospitals in the GTA have shown interest to follow suit.

"UHN is a leader in innovation, so it's not much of a surprise that we are paving the path for enhanced endoscope cleaning equipment," said Pedretti. "This is not our first innovation, and it most definitely will not be our last."

Pedretti, Gunda and Awad are part of a larger team involved in the 12-month project, which included former CPD Manager AnnMarie Gonsalves, former IPAC Manger Jayvee Guerrero and his successor Jessica Fullerton.

For more information on Innova and the work of CPD, please contact Aileen Gunda at aileen.gunda@uhn.ca or (416) 340-4800 Ext. 8887. 

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