Per the Joint Commission, anything touching the cornea must be high-level disinfected at a minimum. Per Issue 49 and HSCL 62019 (see attached): “Items that touch intact surfaces of the eye must be high-level disinfected… Ensure that disinfectants listed as compatible, other than bleach, are U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved high-level disinfectants.” “If the item should be high level disinfected and a facility cannot do so for any reason it should not be used −Puts patients at risk −Puts the facility at risk”

Guidance from SPS on using RGP lenses is that you have the following options:

  1. Ask the vendor if the RGP lenses can be disinfected in bleach or an FDA-approved HLD
  2. Find a disposable alternative
  3. Treat the current RGP lenses as single-use

This has led to many facilities either:

  • No longer fit/use contact lenses and send to the community (comes with the challenges of aquiring lenses and getting them vendorized through prosthetics)
  • Single use and throw away

Joint Commission HSCL Meeting Update (June 2019) – Disinfection of Ophthalmology Equipment

Issue 49 May 2019: Disinfection of tonometers and other ophthalmology devices (002)

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