N.B. — This post is one in a series of ten, based on Becker’s Infection Control & Clinical Quality article 10 top patient safety issues for 2017 by Heather Punke & Brian Zimmerman and published on January 18, 2017 (http://patientsafetymovement.org/challenges-solutions/actionable-patient-safety-solutions-apss/).
“Sterilization and reprocessing issues. Problems in the sterile processing department can put patients at risk of contracting various infections via surgical tools and medical devices. Hospitals and clinics continued to encounter problems cleaning, reprocessing or sterilizing reusable medical instruments in 2016.
Some of the challenge stems from instrument design … Other issues arose due to lack of training for SPD staff. For example, a state investigation into Detroit Medical Center in fall 2016 found a lack of a ‘robust, consistent, repeatable, comprehensively documented and well-maintained training system’ for central sterile processing employees was one of numerous issues that exposed DMC surgery patients to infection risk.
Hospitals can stymie this problem by ensuring staff are trained properly on the latest sterilization procedures and making it as easy as possible for staff to follow manufacturers’ cleaning instructions.”