Armstong said the late discovery highlights a need to regularly review whether the team in charge of cleaning endoscopesis doing it properly. Common procedure He says the issue is analogous to the deadly E. coli contamination of the water supply in Walkerton, Ont. in 2000. In that case,procedures were in place to ensure safe drinking water, but checks weren’t done to ensure the processes were followed. “One knows what needs to be done to produce a safe water supply, but if the appropriate checks are put into place but they are not monitored and verified, then it’s possible to assume that everything’sOK and the processes are being followed without actually documenting that its actually done on a daily basis or a weekly basis,” said Armstrong,a McMaster University associate professor and consultant gastroenterologist at Hamilton Health Sciences. Every year, about 1.6 million endoscopic procedures are performed in Canada, a figure representing about five per cent of the population. Despite how common the procedure has become, hospitalstend totrack incidents of improper endoscope cleaning that result in patient harm on an ad-hoc basis, says Armstrong. Thatmeans the public only learns of problems when the media covers large-scale events disclosed by the hospital. “From the point of view of how often it actually happens, it’s actually very difficult to know, because without appropriate tracking mechanisms, this may just go undetected,” he said. Dr.