Symmetry Surgical New Website!

Announcing: Symmetry Surgical Instruments has updated to a new website platform and loaded all catalogs for easy access on with website and new application!

Take a look at the brand new features. If you’re a new hospital, surgery center or need a refresher, please contact Symmetry Surgical Instruments at (800) 251-3000 for more information.



Honoring Nurses

National Nurses week is May 6-12, 2017! In recent months, several hospital systems went through a round of layoffs and that means that talented nursing professionals are on the prowl for new homes! Celebrate and appreciate!

Endoscope Reprocessing Endoscope Reprocessing News Healthmark Industries Infection Control Tips Tutorials

Webinar Registration: Endoscope Microbial Surveillance Testing Made Easy



Healthmark Industries is hosting a complimentary Webinar on December 5, 2016 to review Endoscope Microbial Surveillance Testing. Register online today!

The featured speakers, Mary Ann Drosnock, MS, CIC, CFER, FAPIC, RM(NRCM) and Alpa Patel are experts in the realm of microbiology and the current standards for endoscope reprocessing.



AAMI Endoscope Reprocessing

NEWS from AAMI: FDA Releases Recommendations to Combat Cross-Contamination from Endoscopes
FDA Releases Recommendations to Combat Cross-Contamination from Endoscopes

Posted November 30, 2016

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published guidance for medical device manufacturers that is intended to mitigate the risk of cross-contamination from valves and accessories used with flexible gastrointestinal endoscopes. This is the latest in a series of recommendations the agency has released following an outbreak of infections linked to flexible endoscopes.

Between 2012 and the spring of 2015, endoscopes caused at least 250 life-threatening infections worldwide, including infections with the superbug carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae, according to the results of an investigationconducted by a U.S. Senate committee.

In its most recent guidance, which was first proposed in January 2015, the FDA aims to highlight the cross-contamination risk associated with specific irrigation valves and accessories used with flexible gastrointestinal endoscopes, clarify terminology related to these devices, and outline risk mitigation strategies.

During a colonoscopy or esophagogastroduodenoscopy, stool, blood, or other fluids can travel from the patient back through the endoscope channels and tubing to contaminate the water bottle or other accessories used for irrigation. Clinicians typically use the same water bottle for multiple procedures, potentially transferring harmful substances or disease-causing agents from one patient to another.

“FDA has received reports of backflow from irrigation channels into the water bottle and tubing when the irrigation channel did not have a backflow-prevention mechanism in place,” the agency wrote in its guidance document. “Although FDA has not yet received reports of infection that can be attributed to backflow, the risk of cross-contamination should be mitigated by following the measures recommended.”

The FDA recommends that endoscopes contain at least one device component in the irrigation system that has a backflow-prevention valve or another backflow-prevention feature. If the device doesn’t have one of these, the FDA states that “all components of the irrigation system should be reprocessed or discarded after being used during a procedure in one patient and before starting one in the next patient.”

The FDA also recommends that device components in the distal irrigation system—the tubes closest to the patient—should either be reprocessed or discarded between procedures, with labeling that identifies these components as “single-use” or “reusable,” among other options.

The agency specified that its device design recommendations were limited to irrigation systems for flexible gastrointestinal endoscopes because irrigation systems for other devices, such as arthroscopes, may require different risk mitigation strategies due to the need to aseptically handle their irrigation systems.

© Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation


Copper Kills MRSA

The link below is to a very short article from the Journal of the American Society of Microbiology.
The article states that:
Sound confusing or technical…it is not really.  Copper and CuVerro (copper and nickel alloy) kill bacteria.
These are the facts:
  1. Germs are everywhere.
  2. Infections cause great harm.
  3. Copper kills infectious bacteria.
Pedigo is the only company offering bactericidal side rails on an extremely high touch surface (transport stretchers) that travels throughout the acute care hospital with very little chance of getting thoroughly cleaned.
Link to article here:
Cleaning Verification Stations Endoscope Reprocessing News Healthmark Industries SGNA Houston


Announcement: SGNA Releases Revised Infection Prevention Practice Document
SGNA recently revised a practice document focused on infection prevention. The revised Standards of Infection Prevention in Reprocessing of Flexible Gastrointestinal Endoscopes (2016) refines the statement about manual cleaning of endoscopes, and includes a detailed listing of practice areas where further research is needed. SGNA is committed to providing gastroenterology nursing professionals with resources based on current evidence, and evaluates and updates practice documents when new research is published or brought forward.
As the professional organization representing GI nurses and associates, SGNA is committed to meeting the needs of our specialty with practice-related strategies. Infection Prevention is a critical issue facing GI professionals, and SGNA provides GI professionals with the necessary tools and resources to ensure the delivery of safe patient care.
Bronchoscope Cleaning Cleaning Verification Stations Endoscope Reprocessing News Healthmark Industries Infection Control Tips SGNA Houston

New Quick Comply Starter Kit!

Healthmark Industries is proud to present the “Quick Comply” starter kit for your Endoscopy / GI departments.

Designed to comply with AAMI ST91, the Quick Comply Kit provides key elements for cleaning verification, safe storage, traceability, and labeling all in one convenient kit: 100 ChannelCheck™ (UCC-101) that come with 2 boxes of 50 test strips and 1 control per box capable of testing any lumened instrument for residual organic soils (i.e., blood, protein and carbohydrates); 20 Valvesafe™ (VS-002 BLU) single-use polypropylene cages that attach to endoscopes for storage of up to four endoscope valves and detachable parts, the unique container design has large openings that allow disinfectants to flow through effectively and permit adequate drying in a contaminant free environment; 1 Valvesafe™ Dispenser (VSH-022) made from ABS Plastic designed to store 20 single-use Valvesafe™ cages (VS-002 BLU); 100 Green HangTime Labels (403225 HTKG) that track your endoscope by day and month to indicate the scopes last reprocess date, which includes fillable spaces for the scope serial number and initials (labels are available in other colors). The Quick Comply Kit is available for individual purchase.

Part# Description Pkg Price

QCK-101 Quick Comply Kit EA $165.00

More information available upon request. Email US or Call: 713-640-5393


Bronchoscope Cleaning Endoscope Reprocessing News IAHCSMM Infection Control Tips LogiQuip SGNA Houston

New Scope Drying Cabinet from Logiquip

Houston Hospital Services is the proud distributor for Logiquip Storage Solutions. At the IAHCSMM Conference and Expo, Logiquip launched a newly designed Endoscope drying cabinet. Logiquip is proud to offer a full line of endoscope cabinets, the Endo Dri-Stor series. Fabricated using high-quality stainless steel and available with a broad range of options including channel air purge. Designed to stylishly protect and manage scopes.


• All welded type 304 stainless steel fabrication.

• Every surface is non-porous and can withstand hospital-grade disinfectants.

• Hinged glass doors with stainless steel 1-1 /2″ tubular frame and piano hinge.

• Innovative side-compartment design allows easy access for to interior components and cabinet modularity. Two storage cabinets can attach to one component cabinet, which provides significant space and cost savings

• The modular design allows for options to be added later, expanding with your needs.

• Removable bottom stainless steel drip tray allows access to adjustable leveling feet and also to clean the floor beneath the cabinet.

• LED Lighting

• More ventilation options than any other cabinet made in North America. Choose from: – Ambient without filter – Power vent with HEPA Filter – Channel Air Purge with HEPA Filter – Power vent with HEPA Filter and Individual Channel Purge

• Premium HEPA filter: removes 99:97% of particulate 0.3 micron in size

The Industry Demands REAL Channel Purge Drying Cabinets! 

Drying is a critical element in reprocessing … Endoscopes must be stored in an area that is clean, well­ ventilated and dust-free in order to keep the endoscopes dry and free of microbial contamination …. Drying cabinets are designed to control air quality and humidity, and access to endoscopes” SGNA, Standards of Infection Prevention in Reprocessing of Flexible Gastrointestinal Endoscopes, 2015

For more information or to contact us for a quote, please call 713-640-5393 or email

Bronchoscope Cleaning Cleaning Verification Stations Healthmark Industries Infection Control Tips

Infections Associated with Reprocessed Flexible Bronchoscopes: FDA Safety Communication

HMARK - ENDOCHECK - HHS-lowAccording to a recent study, approximately 500,000 Bronchoscopes are performed nationwide each year. The FDA is taking a serious look at how meticulously these scopes are cleaned after each use. The team at Houston Hospital Services, Inc. in partnership with Healthmark Industries, offers solutions for some of the cleaning process failures outlined in this recent report. Below is an excerpt from that report. To read the report in its entirety, CLICK HERE

  • Failure to meticulously follow manufacturer instructions for reprocessing, including:
    • Lack of pre-cleaning at point of use. Pre-cleaning typically includes surface wiping and channel flushing to prevent drying of blood, tissue and other biological debris;
    • Failure to perform thorough manual cleaning before high-level disinfection (HLD) or sterilization;
    • Failure to flush or brush channels;
    • Use of expired detergent or high-level disinfectant;
    • Insufficient flushing, rinsing and/or drying after HLD.
  • Continued use of devices despite integrity, maintenance and mechanical issues, including:
    • Persistent device channel kinks or bends;
    • Channel wall scratches, divots, or crevices;
    • Holes, cracks, or other imperfections in the distal end;
    • Use of repaired or refurbished devices using out-of-specification parts;
    • Use of devices despite residual material in the instrument or suction channels.

Unfortunately, this isn’t something we are seeing LESS of in the news. However, we are confident steps are being taken at all levels to ensure patient safety and care. Healthmark Industries has an entire line of cleaning verification products that add very little time, money and effort to each procedure.  Contact us today to learn more or to schedule your departmental in-service TODAY. (713) 640-5393 or


Hospital Development National Nurses Week

Celebrate Nurses!


At Houston Hospital Services, Inc. we understand the importance of education and credentials. One of the most revered of them all is the RN (Registered Nurse). This year we celebrate National Nurses Week May 6-12. It all started in honor of Florence Nightingale on her birthday. To read more about the history of Nurses Week click here. #NursesWeek #TexasMedicalCenter