AAMI News February 2019

Sterilization to Take Center Stage at AAMI Exchange

For the first time, there will be a special education track for sterile processing professionals at an AAMI conference. During the AAMI Exchange, AAMI’s growing and revamped Annual Conference & Expo, attendees will have the opportunity to choose from a number of sessions designed to address the field’s most pressing questions and help sterile processing departments (SPDs) meet their toughest challenges.

“Sterile processing professionals are essential for the safe and effective use of medical devices,” said Sherrie Schulte, AAMI’s senior director of certification and meetings. “We are extremely excited to introduce a complete sterilization and reprocessing education track at the AAMI Exchange that will help support learning, innovation, and networking among these professionals working on the front lines of patient safety.”

AAMI ExchangeThe sterilization track, which is sponsored by Steris, will be presented alongside other thematic groupings devoted to topics such as healthcare technology management and the global community.

Planned sessions during the event, which will be held June 7–10 in Cleveland, OH, include:

Flexible Endoscope Reprocessing and the Move toward Sterilization

This discussion will outline the requirements found in ANSI/AAMI ST91, Comprehensive guide to flexible and semi-rigid endoscope processing in health care facilities with a particular focus on strategies to move from high-level disinfection to sterilization of endoscopes.

Implementing the 2018 FDA Duodenoscope Sampling and Culturing Protocol

This session will describe a quality improvement project at Baptist Health Corbin to implement the Food and Drug Administration’s 2018 duodenoscope sampling and culturing protocol, including the development and use of step-by-step standard work tools, a competency and validation tool, didactic and skills training, a pre- and post-test for sampling staff, and monitoring tools to ensure sustainment of practice.

Doing Steam Sterilization Right: What Does Steam Quality Mean to You?

Not meeting the steam quality requirements found in ANSI/AAMI ST79:2017 can lead to wet loads, recalls, and facility shutdowns. The focus of this session will be these “hidden variables” of steam sterilization, why they matter, and how proper steam quality can make your SPD more productive.

Quality Reporting for SPDs

The practice of quality reporting includes tracking of errors for SPDs and case carts from the operating room (OR). Job roles in SPDs are tied to AAMI standards, immediate-use steam sterilization (IUSS), overall quality incidents, critical errors, and incidents per case, per tray, and by staff member. The system described during this session has greatly reduced errors and improved the working relationship between OR and SPD staff.

Riding the Waves of a Perfect Sterile Processing Storm

One health system was caught in the perfect storm: year-over-year increases in surgical volume, expansion of OR theaters, lack of expansion of the central SPD, increased complexity of instrumentation, updates to recommended processing guidelines, and an increase in instrument-intensive procedures. The strain of these factors led to delayed and canceled cases, as well as an average IUSS rate of 24%. During this session, the presenters will describe how their system used Lean principles to reduce and maintain its average IUSS rate to less than 5%.

Building a Sustainable Sterile Processing Workforce through Educational Partnerships

Sterile processing and materials management technicians have limited training options, and most learn on the job. This session will describe a successful partnership that allowed a school system with a robust certified nursing assistant and pharmacy technician program to partner with a healthcare system to offer students a sterile processing education.