Objective: To ascertain cystoscope durability in relation to usage and cost in the outpatient setting. Methods: Six flexible cystoscopes were provided to our outpatient clinic by 2 vendors. Five Wolf 7305.006S02 cystoscopes (Richard Wolf Medical Instruments Corporation, Vernon Hills, IL) and 1 Olympus CYF-5 (Olympus America, Center Valley, PA) were used 2477 times over a 14-month study period. Prospective data were accumulated on each cystoscope including type of procedure, number of uses until mechanical failure, physician usage, and maintenance costs. All staff was trained in proper handling and maintenance of cystoscopes utilizing an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) approved protocol. Retrospective comparison was performed of 1346 cystoscopic procedures during the previous 8 months before implementation of the processing protocol, with data including type and quantity of mechanical failures along with maintenance costs. Results: Five total study period failures occurred in 4 cystoscopes, with a mean of 495.4 procedures/failure. In 3 separate cystoscopes, failure occurred after 70 (perforation of working channel), 194 (leak in bending rubber), and 236 uses (hole in bending rubber). One cystoscope had 2 failures after 168 (cut in bending rubber) and 255 uses (failed leak test). During the retrospective period, there were 10 failures, with a mean of 134.6 procedures/failure. Four failures were secondary to crushed insertion tubes. Comparison of retrospective and study period costs revealed a 43.9% decrease from $9.64 per procedure to $5.41 per procedure. Conclusion: Outpatient flexible cystoscope durability seems directly related to optimization of handling and storage of cystoscopes. Costs related to mechanical failure were reduced with a rigorous reprocessing protocol.
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