Sterilization/Disinfection

Latest Issue of OR Manager
December 2017
Home Sterilization/Disinfection

Consider a sterilization subject matter expert to increase compliance

Compliance with sterilization and disinfection standards is critical to patient safety, yet Joint Commission surveyors continue to cite healthcare facilities for noncompliance with high-level disinfection (HLD) and sterilization processes during accreditation surveys. Organizations with HLD and/or sterilization breaches during a survey may receive an immediate threat to life or adverse…

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By: Susan Klacik, BS, ACE, CHL, CRCST, FCS
May 17, 2017
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Olympus redesigned duodenoscope linked to new infection outbreak

Editor's Note A new outbreak of infections outside the US have been tied to a duodenoscope Olympus modified last year to reduce the risk of transmitting bacteria between patients, the March 22 Los Angeles Times reports. The outbreak of Klebsiella pneumoniae in five patients occurred at the end of December…

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By: Judy Mathias
March 29, 2017
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Arm your staff with strategies to prevent HAIs

Each year, more than 700,000 patients in acute care hospitals fall prey to healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs), and approximately 75,000 hospitalized patients die from them. Such statistics have gotten the attention of regulatory agencies that are determined to reduce these numbers. The Healthcare-Acquired Infections and Medical Technology Stakeholder Event held in…

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By: OR Manager
February 17, 2017
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Rigorous reprocessing doesn’t free scopes of contamination

Editor's Note This study by Cori L. Ofstead, MSPH, and associates found that more rigorous reprocessing was not consistently effective in freeing endoscopes of contamination, and many had scratches and dents that could harbor blood, tissue, and bacteria. Even after reprocessing using current guidelines or additional measures, 12 of 20…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 6, 2017
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IUSS drops to 5% with team intervention

Reducing immediate use steam sterilization (IUSS) can be challenging, but adhering to standards is essential not only for patient safety, but also for successful accreditation surveys. “Accrediting organizations are hitting hard on all of sterilization, but especially IUSS,” says Rose Seavey, MBA, BA, RN, CNOR, CRCST, CSPDT, president and CEO…

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By: OR Manager
January 18, 2017
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Joint Commission offers new blog for infection preventionists

Editor's Note A new blog from the Joint Commission on Infection Prevention & Control covers experiences, case studies, and news for infection preventionists. The latest blog post details the BoosterPak for High-Level Disinfection and Sterilization processes, which is applicable to hospitals, critical access hospitals, plus ambulatory and office-based surgery settings.…

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By: Judy Mathias
December 14, 2016
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Cleaning verification tests boost confidence in instrument decontamination

Even when recommended cleaning and disinfection protocols are followed, residual contamination of instruments is possible, researchers have found (OR Manager, November 2016, 1, 10-11). Visual inspection can catch some signs of contamination, but it won’t reveal problems within channels and other areas of complex medical devices. That’s why it’s important…

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By: OR Manager
November 14, 2016
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Dirty scopes persist despite cleaning protocol compliance

Recent outbreaks of deadly infections linked to flexible endoscopes have made headlines, and the Food and Drug Administration has issued strict guidelines for reprocessing these devices. However, cleaning and disinfection may not be effective under the recommended protocols, says Cori L. Ofstead, MSPH, epidemiologist and president and chief executive officer,…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
October 17, 2016
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Action steps for safe use of reprocessed single-use medical devices

In the United States and globally, the use of reprocessed medical devices labeled and marketed by their original equipment manufacturers as “for single use only” has become commonplace. Large health systems have saved many millions of dollars annually and diverted many hundreds of tons of medical waste by using reprocessed…

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By: OR Manager
October 17, 2016
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Air Force Academy alerts patients to improperly processed endoscopes

Editor's Note The Air Force Academy (Colorado Springs, Colorado) is notifying 267 patients from the school’s medical clinic and the Veterans Affairs Eastern Colorado Health Care System that they are at risk of infections from improperly processed gastrointestinal endoscopy equipment, according to the September 21 MilitaryTimes. Air Force officials say…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 27, 2016
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