Sterilization & Disinfection

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May 2016
Home Sterilization/Disinfection > Sterilization & Disinfection

Proper packaging ensures integrity of sterilization

Sterilization packaging is considered a medical device and thus it must undergo validation testing before being used in healthcare facilities. To ensure proper packaging that will maintain the integrity of sterilization, consult the packaging manufacturers’ instructions for use (IFU) and follow the sterilization standards and guidelines from the Association for…

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By: OR Manager
February 19, 2016
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Combine and conquer: OR/CSPD collaboration dramatically reduces IUSS rates

Using best practices to sterilize surgical instruments can help lower infection rates and, in some cases, prevent death. Over the past few years, staff at Banner Boswell Medical Center in Sun City, Arizona, have worked to reduce immediate use steam sterilization (IUSS) rates. Thanks to improved communication and workflow between…

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By: OR Manager
December 16, 2015
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Infection control noncompliance cited in high percentage of Joint Commission surveys

During the first half of 2015, the Joint Commission’s top “not compliant” survey citations stemmed from Infection Control IC.02.02.01, which relates to reducing the risk of infections associated with medical equipment, devices, and supplies. Surveyors cited critical access hospitals in 60% of the surveys, hospitals in 54%, and office-based surgery…

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By: OR Manager
November 18, 2015
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New AAMI standard for endoscope reprocessing

The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) has published its first standard on flexible endoscope reprocessing. ANSI/AAMI ST91: 2015 Flexible and Semi-rigid Endoscope Processing in Health Care Facilities was developed from research and input from manufacturers of flexible endoscopes, users, consultants, and regulatory bodies. The new standard, which…

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By: OR Manager
August 17, 2015
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Lean tools help staff weed out bioburden pests

At least half the battle in making and sustaining process improvements is getting the entire team on board with a new workflow. One key to getting buy-in from staff is to clarify why changes are needed and what the consequences may be if the new processes aren’t followed. In a…

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By: OR Manager
July 22, 2015
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Do You Have What It Takes? Current Best Practices for Sterilization and High-Level Disinfection

Many healthcare facilities risk safe patient care as well as denial of accreditation and certification because of noncompliance with current published standards. Don’t be one of them! Sterilization and high-level disinfection (HLD) is at the core of the national focus on patient safety, so it is imperative that nurse leaders…

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Creating a powerful partnership between the OR and the SPD

Perhaps no other departments in a hospital work as closely together as the OR and the sterile processing department, yet friction isn’t uncommon as both areas strive to meet service demands. Although the relationship between the two is unlikely to ever be free of tension, leaders of both departments increasingly…

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By: OR Manager
July 22, 2015
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Better communication and teamwork improve sterile processing efficiency

Relations between the OR and the sterile processing department (SPD) are not always smooth. OR staff need timely, accurate instrument trays that meet the highest standards of safety. Anything short of 100% performance leads to complaints about the SPD. But many OR staff members do not appreciate the challenges faced…

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By: OR Manager
May 14, 2015
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Don’t let faulty processing put a damper on instrument packaging

Instruments that are still damp or wet after being sterilized cannot be placed in storage. The moisture that remains on or inside of a package can create a pathway for microorganisms to travel from the outside to the inside of the package. Moisture may be in the form of visible…

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By: OR Manager
May 14, 2015
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Infections spur new guidelines for endoscope reprocessing

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on March 17 published a final guidance on reprocessing reusable medical devices. This guidance, which provides manufacturers with recommendations to validate their reprocessing instructions, comes on the heels of a host of “superbug” bacteria outbreaks related to reprocessing of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) duodenoscopes.…

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By: OR Manager
April 17, 2015
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Water: A critical ingredient for instrument cleaning and disinfection

Using the right type of water for instrument reprocessing can prolong the life of medical instrumentation, contribute to effective function, and—most importantly—minimize the risk of adverse patient outcomes from contamination. The water quality requirement for various stages of instrument reprocessing depends on the type of instrument and the disinfection or…

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By: OR Manager
February 12, 2015
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Special Report: Sterilization & Disinfection [Download]

Infection prevention was the top strategy cited by respondents to the 2015 OR Manager Salary/Career Survey for curbing readmissions. According to a 2015 study in JAMA, surgical site infection was the most common reason for 30-day readmission in patients who had bariatric procedures, colectomy or proctectomy, hysterectomy, total hip or knee arthroplasty, ventral hernia repair,…

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