Sterilization/Disinfection

Latest Issue of OR Manager
April 2019
Home Sterilization/Disinfection

'Coming clean' in the SPD requires collaboration and competency--Part 1

Contaminated surgical instruments made ECRI Institute’s 2019 annual top 10 list of health technology hazards, coming in at number five: “Mishandling flexible endoscopes after disinfection can lead to patient infections.” Number two on the list in 2018 was “Endoscope reprocessing failures continue to expose patients to infection risk.” It’s not…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
March 15, 2019
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Elevating standard of endoscope reprocessing with terminal sterilization of duodenoscopes

Editor's Note Terminal sterilization of duodenoscopes can be achieved with a hydrogen peroxide-ozone sterilizer, this study finds. A sterility assurance level of 10-6 was achieved under laboratory worst-case conditions and under clinical conditions using a hydrogen peroxide-ozone sterilizer with regulatory clearance for terminal sterilization of duodenoscopes (STERIZONE VP4, TSO3 Inc,…

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By: Judy Mathias
February 28, 2019
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'Noncritical' OR items deserve due diligence in disinfection

Much emphasis has been placed on high-level disinfection over the past several years; however, low- and intermediate-level disinfection are also performed in healthcare facilities and are an important part of an infection prevention program. Noncritical items, defined by the Spaulding Classification as those that may contact intact skin, are cleaned…

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By: Susan Klacik, BS, CRCST, CHL, CIS, ACE, FCS
February 20, 2019
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New structure puts SPD staff on firmer footing

Perioperative leaders, including those in the sterile processing department (SPD), need to know when to make sweeping—not just incremental—changes to improve workflow and optimize the talents of their staff. Sometimes gains in productivity and staff satisfaction depend not only on identifying process improvements but also on placing staff in areas…

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By: Cynthia Saver, MS, RN
December 13, 2018
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FDA issues statement on updated rates of duodenoscope contamination

Editor's Note The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on December 10 issued a statement on an updated safety communication about rates of duodenoscope contamination obtained from preliminary postmarket data. Interim results from sampling studies from device manufacturers−Olympus, Fujifilm, and Pentax− indicate higher-than-expected contamination rates after reprocessing. Up to 3% of…

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By: Judy Mathias
December 11, 2018
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Research backs changes to AORN's Guideline for Sterilization

AORN’s updated Guideline for Sterilization is based on a recent review of evidence in peer-reviewed journals and regulations from 2012 to 2017. In addition to guidance for sterilizing reusable medical devices to be used in perioperative and procedural settings, the updated guideline points to findings that substantiate current practices, and…

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By: Susan Klacik, BS, CRCST, CHL, CIS, ACE, FCS
November 14, 2018
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DVN GL announces first US sterile processing certification

Editor's Note Healthcare accreditation organization DNV GL Healthcare on November 7 launched the first sterile processing program certification in the US. The program recognizes excellence in an organization’s sterile processing department within the scope of infection prevention and control, surgical services, endoscopic services, and related departments. An important part of…

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By: Judy Mathias
November 8, 2018
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Joint Commission refines scoring on HLD, sterilization

Editor's Note The Joint Commission on September 5 announced it has refined its scoring for high-level disinfection (HLD) and sterilization to focus on process steps that post the highest risk to patients if they fail. The new scoring revisions apply to: soiled instruments enzymatic solution transportation of instruments instruments in…

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By: Judy Mathias
September 6, 2018
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Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns for 2018

As healthcare strives to become an industry of high-reliability organizations, identifying problems proactively is key. ECRI Institute’s annual Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns for Healthcare Organizations list highlights looming patient safety challenges and offers resources for addressing them. In selecting this year’s list, ECRI Institute relied on data regarding events…

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By: ECRI
August 21, 2018
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Validate and verify medical devices to ensure safety

Sometimes surgeons ask to have nonmedical devices sterilized, such as spoons, hockey pucks, and fish hooks. Healthcare staff may want to accommodate their requests, but there are times when they cannot do so. A central service (CS) should only sterilize medical devices that have undergone validation testing, which demonstrates that…

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By: Susan Klacik, BS, CRCST, CHL, CIS, ACE, FCS
August 21, 2018
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