Standards, Guidelines or Recommendations: Do We Really Need to Follow Them?

There are many published standards guidelines and recommendations related to reprocessing reusable medical devices. As evidence becomes available, these publications are often updated to reflect most current best practices. So, does that mean we must follow them? Let’s start by discussing what the Association for the Advancement of medical instrumentation (AAMI), the Association of periOperative […]

Accreditation Survey Site Visits for SPD: Are you Compliant?

The Joint Commission (TJC) or The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services survey site visits focuses on safety and quality of patient care throughout the healthcare facility.  Surveyors will more than likely want to review areas that process devices via high-level disinfection (HLD) or sterilization. Surveyors will want to see that facilities are conduction risk […]

OR and SPD – Why Can’t We Just Get Along?

Can any health care professional deliver effective hands-on patient care in today’s high-technology environment without the backup of countless support people? Of course, the answer is always no. The Sterile Processing Department (SPD) and the Operating Room typically depend on each more than any other departments within a hospital. However, the relationship between OR and SPD is frequently less […]

Managing SPD Requires Critical Thinking Skills

Sterile Processing Department (SPD) managers have multiple responsibilities with big impacts on their department, the facility and even more important the patients. Therefore, SPD leaders must have critical thinking skills founded on published evidence based guidelines, education and experience. Critical thinking is disciplined thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence.  It also […]

AORN’s New Evidence Based Guideline: Processing Flexible Endoscopes

The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) published “Guidelines for Processing Flexible Endoscopes” in February 2016. As part of the research, AORN completed an extensive search of over 3,000 published documents relating to endoscope reprocessing. They used the strongest evidence geared toward prevention of infection transmission for creating this comprehensive guideline. Each piece of evidence used as a reference […]

Policy and Procedure Changes Depend on Collaboration

Sterile processing (SP) continues to gain momentum and importance within the healthcare environment as more and more as the media puts it in the spotlight.  As SP professionals it is your responsibility to ensure your patients receive the safest possible care.  Working toward continuous quality improvement (CQI) means knowing and following the most current evidence […]

Every Facility Needs a Processing Subject Matter Expert

There are many reasons why issues with sterilization or high-level disinfection of reusable medical devices are in the news headlines, as well as, a large focus in an accreditation survey.  There have been numerous reports of inadequate knowledge or competency, poor documentation, lack of following specific instructions for use (IFU) and not complying with current […]

Joint Commission: High-Level Disinfection (HLD) and Sterilization BoosterPakTM

  The Joint Commission (TJC) has created several Standards BoosterPaks.  These are searchable documents that provide specific information about TJC standards associated with a high volume of non-compliance scores in the health care field. The BoosterPaks were created for accredited organizations and staff within TJC to improve the understanding and consistency of standards interpretation. BoosterPaks […]

Sound the Alarm! CDC and FDA Alert on Reprocessing in Healthcare Facilities

    On September 11, 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) distributed a Health Alert to all healthcare faculties that reprocess reusable medical devices. This includes hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, clinics, and doctors’ offices that utilize reusable medical devices. The alert is a response […]

Surgical Instruments: Point of Use Cleaning and Containment Prior to Transportation

    Decontamination of surgical instruments begins in the operating room. The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) guideline for Cleaning and Care of Surgical Instruments, and the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) in Comprehensive guide to steam sterilization and sterility assurance in health care facilities ST79:2010 & A1:2010 & A2:2011 & […]