The Ultrasound IP Toolkit is a free resource developed with consensus by a collective of clinical decontamination experts in the UK and Ireland, who all share a passion for best practice and open learning.
The decontamination of ultrasound probes is essential to help reduce the risk of contracting a healthcare-associated infection. The objective in developing this toolkit has been to provide a relevant resource regarding infection prevention during the reprocessing and use of ultrasound probes in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
This toolkit has been assembled with consensus by clinical experts with backgrounds in infection prevention and instrument reprocessing. The four editable tools will support you to locate the ultrasound probes within your organisation, assess procedure-specific ultrasound policy and practice, develop ultrasound reprocessing and use risk assessments, and develop policies that can be implemented at department or facility wide level.
The tools are available free of charge, and are downloadable below.
The IP toolkit components
The IP toolkit components are summarised below and each tool can be downloaded individually
The following clinical experts contributed to the development of the Ultrasound IP Toolkit:
Linda Cooper Decontamination Project Lead (Northern Ireland)
Niamh O’Callaghan Hospital Sterile Services Clinical Nurse Manager & Decontamination Lead (Ireland)
John Prendergast Authorised Engineer (Decontamination)(Wales)
Helen Campbell Decontamination Consultant (England)
Anthony Sullivan External Decontamination Services Manager (England)
Elizabeth Collins Clinical Lead Infection Prevention (England)
Claire Jones-Manning Deputy Head of Operations & Decontamination Lead (England)
Tool 1 :
Locate ＆ Profile
Part A lists strategies can help locate ultrasound machines in your facility. Locating ultrasound machines can be a challenging task, as they may move around, be uncatalogued, or may be unknown to personnel with responsibility for probe use and reprocessing. After locating ultrasound machines with the Locate tool, Part B is an audit tool that can be used to observe and assess procedure specific ultrasound policy and practice. First record the procedure and department, then work through the profile form. The questions guide the user through their policy and an observation checklist is provided to record actual practice. The tool leads the user to an action plan (Part C) if there is no policy, or if there are discrepancies between policy, practice and guidelines.
Tool 2 :
This tool is organised by department and provides a range of typical procedures that may be encountered in that department. Probe use and reprocessing requirements based on current editions of local, regional and global guidelines, are presented as a decision-making algorithm. The flow chart can be printed out and displayed throughout office and procedure rooms, and used as a quick reference chart for healthcare workers to determine whether practice is compliant with available guidelines.
Tool 3 :
This tool contains four completely editable templates designed to assess potential harm from hazards that may be encountered during the use and reprocessing (cleaning, disinfection, storage and transport) of ultrasound probes. There is a sample risk matrix and further instructions provided. A facility should aim to mitigate all significant risks to the lowest risk rating and if this is not possible, the existing workflow and/or products should be reconsidered.
Tool 4 :
Policy Development Framework
This tool is a policy development framework designed to help develop infection prevention policies for all settings where ultrasound technology is used and probes are reprocessed. It can be used to develop a universal hospital policy or a department specific policy and has been developed based on major guidelines, standards and evidence based scientific literature.