Harald Huber discusses the importance of working with clinicians on product development to maximise infection prevention in endoscopy.
Infection prevention is crucial for guaranteeing patient safety in endoscopy. Infections can stem from several sources like staff clothing, floor and surface cleaning, but also from the equipment used during a procedure. Even high-quality endoscopic equipment can become a source of infection if it is handled inexpertly. It is important to address this problem right from the start, during the products’ design and development phase.
The “poka-yoke” philosophy in product development
The “poka-yoke” principle originates from Japan and can be translated as “avoiding an unthinkably bad move”. It is typically applied in product development to eliminate potential sources of error through the design itself. A good example would be the design of a plug on an endoscope that only fits in the intended socket, to avoid connecting it to the wrong device. The overarching idea behind this philosophy is acknowledging that human error is inevitable.
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