Best practice resource developed to prevent infections

The American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Preven- tion (CDC) have published best practices on using the health care physical environment to prevent infections. Using the Health Care Physical Environment

to Prevent and Control Infection: A Best Prac- tice Guide to Help Health Care Organizations Create Safe, Healing Environments contains best practices, case studies, resources and information based on key research. The book and associated Quick Guides

can be used by healthcare facility managers, architects, designers, construction profession- als, infection preventionists, and anyone else involved in designing, building, and operating healthcare facilities. "This collaborative effort uses research to identify leading practices that other hospitals can adopt within their facilities to help keep patients safe," said ASHE Executive Director PJ Andrus, MBA, CAE. The new guidance was produced by two

groups within the AHA—the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) and the American Society for Health Care Engineering—as part of a three-year CDC initiative to improve the implementation of infection prevention and control efforts in U.S. hospitals. “This report brings much needed atten-

tion to the importance of a team approach to infection prevention that connects facility managers, environmental services depart- ments, and clinicians. No one department is solely responsible for infection prevention and we're grateful we could partner with our colleagues to break down any remaining siloes that prevent collaboration among all team members, including patients and families,” stated Sue Collier, HRET interim vice president of clinical quality. The document, available as a free PDF

download, contains guidance on six key topics: 1. Infection Control Risk Assessments 2. Hand Hygiene Infrastructure 3. Reprocessing 4. Cleaning of Environmental Surfaces 5. Water-Related Environmental Infection

Control 6. Flow of Patients, Personnel, Equipment

and Waste For more information or to download a free

copy of the publication, visit infectionprevention.

Safe and battle-ready

If instruments are the soldiers of surgery, containers, storage are the tanks and carriers by Kara Nadeau

he pressures on central sterile/sterile processing department (CS/SPD) professionals to deliver safe and effec- tive surgical instruments to the operating room (OR) and other clinical locations are significant and are only growing as health- care organizations attempt to deliver higher quality care at a lower cost. While many improvements and tech-


nologies are focused on core CS/SPD processes — decontamination, cleaning, assembly and packing, steril- ization — it is important not to overlook two other critical processes impacting patient care — instrument storage and transport. The practice of storing instruments until ready for use and transporting both clean and dirty instruments to and from clinical areas is one that is integral to maintaining a safe, effective and efficient care environment. Along with some of the latest products for

surgical instrument containment, storage and transport, product vendors present in- sights on how they are working to address the challenges that CS/SPD professionals face in these areas.

Avoid damage Surgical instrumentation is continuously growing in complexity as manufacturers develop devices featuring greater precision and efficacy. This evolution presents to the CS/SPD devices that are far more intricate and delicate than their predecessors, and require more careful handling, processing, transport and storage. “It is critical for healthcare organizations to invest in durable protective steriliza- tion containers to prevent damage of their intricate surgical equipment,” said Amy Wiedre, Marketing Manager, Service Marketing for KARL STORZ Endoscopy- America. “Containers should feature a bracket system to provide a secure and protective environment for transportation, sterilization and storage of the equipment.


Hearing a scope roll around inside of a container is never good, and often means there will be damage to the scope. Placing a scope inside a container without a bracket to secure it properly and then sending it up to a procedure on a case cart or through the sterilization process is irresponsible. Keeping equipment secured in a container featuring a bracket system before and after a procedure will help to reduce the rate of repairs.”

KARL STORZ sterilization containers

KARL STORZ offers no-wrap contain-

ers with a variety of bracket systems to secure KARL STORZ surgical equipment during transportation, sterilization and storage. KARL STORZ no-wrap contain- ers are crafted from durable aircraft-grade anodized aluminum, creating a superior protective housing for surgical equipment. The no-wrap containers also come with customizable ID plaques to insert on the outside of the container, enabling quick and easy identification of the contents.

Streamline through standardization “Meeting the instrument demands of the OR means having the right instruments, at the right time, in the proper condition,” said Troy Scroggins, Product Manager, Sterile Packaging for Aesculap. “Utilizing Aesculap’s SterilContainer System can help increase OR-CS/SPD reprocessing cycle efficiency.” According to Scroggins, CS/SPDs that standardize on one method and one brand of containers can derive a variety of ben-

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