Ready When Needed: Physicians explain how portable single-use endoscopy platforms improve workflow efficiencies for enhanced patient care.

As patient volumes rebound in hospital outpatient clinics post-pandemic — in facilities that saw 900 million outpatient visitors in 2019 alone — hospital satellite operations need the right infrastructure in place to provide quality care amidst increases in patient visits and throughput. 

It “defeats the purpose” of an institution’s expansion from hospitals to clinics designed to serve patients where they live if a patient cannot undergo a routine procedure like a cystoscopy during an outpatient consult. That’s according to Dr. Srinivas Vourganti, a urologist at Rush Medical Center, who made that observation during a recent webinar featured as part of Becker’s Hospital System’s 11th Annual Meeting.  

“Part of delivering patient care of good quality and good satisfaction, and growing your practice, involves developing efficiencies,” Dr. Vourganti said. “We’re always looking for ways to grow faster, deliver better care, deliver quicker care, and be more efficient.”  

Vourganti performs cystoscopies with the Ambu aScope 4 Cysto – one of the two single-use flexible endoscopes from Ambu Inc. recently awarded the 2021 Red Dot design honor. Complete with a 12.8-inch, full-HD monitor, the portable single-use cystoscopy platform can be easily deployed anywhere, regardless of access to all of the typically required endoscope sterile processing equipment and traditional, large viewing towers for reusable endoscopes.

Portability — the system is easily moved from room to room as needed — is  only one reason physicians prefer single-use endoscopes in any number of clinical settings. Sterile, single-use flexible endoscopes eliminate time consuming and expensive reprocessing and repairs. They are also always available, improve procedural efficiency, and ultimately increase patient throughput and care during routine and emergency endoscopic procedures.

‘It’s right there’

The portability and performance of Ambu’s single-use platform proved invaluable when the COVID-19 pandemic overwhelmed New York City’s intensive care units, according to Dr. James M. Horowitz.

When patients need immediate care, “you can’t go looking for the scope,” Dr. Horowitz, a cardiologist and critical care specialist, said during the Becker’s webinar. “The fact that it’s right there is better for patients.” 

Horowitz began using Ambu single-use bronchoscopes years ago as the portable system fit easily in specially designed airway carts for the ICUs at New York University Langone Health. With only three reusable bronchoscopes and one video tower available, Horowitz found Ambu’s single-use bronchoscopes much easier to deploy in critical care and provided faster treatment in emergency situations — even before the onset of COVID-19.  

“By the time I find the [respiratory therapist] to ask them where the tower is, I’ve already started the bronch with my Ambu scope,” Horowitz said. “So, that for me really changed my focus.”

Having limited resources for emergency care can affect other endoscopic areas, Vourganti added.  Typically, the number of cystoscopies that can be performed overnight or on the weekend is limited to the number of scopes on the unit, he said, because sterile processing staff may not be available. 

“Medicine happens not in 9 to 5 and not when the tech is around,” Vourganti said in the webinar. “Technology solved the problem.”

Reduce routine delay

For Dr. Juan S. Tejada of Memorial Health System in Marietta, Ohio, single-use endoscopes keep procedural delays at bay in the GI suite. Dr. Tejada is an advanced endoscopist regularly performing endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) with Ambu’s single-use duodenoscope, the aScope Duodeno.

Duodenoscopes used in ERCP are notoriously the most difficult endoscopes to clean, due to their  complicated distal end design that includes the elevator mechanism used for device control.  It is often  easily damaged during procedures or sterile processing leading to expensive repairs and unavailability. 

With the Ambu aScope Duodeno, also a 2021 Red Dot Award winner, Dr. Tejada isn’t faced with delaying care because a functional device is unavailable.  

“If something happens with the scope, we just change for another new scope,” Dr. Tejada said. “That is just priceless.” 

Sterile and efficient

Today, Ambu’s line of single-use endoscopes includes duodenoscopes, rhinolaryngoscopes, bronchoscopes and cystoscopes. Ambu, the Frost and Sullivan 2021 Global New Product Innovation Award winner, plans to quadruple its innovation pipeline and launch more than 20 new flexible endoscopy products in the next three years. 

Since single-use endoscopes are portable and always available, physicians can provide high-quality patient care across clinical settings without delay.  It has the potential to increase patient satisfaction and quality of care for routine and emergency endoscopy. This will be especially important as institutions face unprecedented backlogs and heightened patient awareness of hospital-acquired infection caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Everyone is going to be more proactive to move more toward single-use,” Dr. Tejada said. “Patients are more cautious. People are more careful.”  


Ambu has been bringing the solutions of the future to life since 1937 and a decade ago launched the world's first single-use flexible bronchoscope, the Ambu® aScope™. Today, millions of patients and healthcare professionals worldwide depend on the efficiency, safety and performance of our single-use endoscopy, anesthesia, and patient monitoring & diagnostics solutions. Headquartered near Copenhagen in Denmark, Ambu employs approximately 3,000 people in Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific.

Copyright © 2023 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars