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NewSplash Archive – April 2020

Issue 17 – 4/28

The Sterile Processing Foot Locker: Lessons Learned from the War on COVID-19 by David Jagrosse, CRCST, CHL
One of early lessons we can learn from the COVID-19 pandemic is that we are very reliant on the supply chain and that chain is vulnerable to any kind of disruption. Even without a manufacturer back order, the chain is only as strong as its weakest link. A specific product can not make it to your facility for a whole host of reasons, putting you short of the critical supplies you need. Supplies you never considered for one purpose may suddenly become essential for another.

GE Healthcare and Microsoft develop cloud-based COVID-19 patient care dashboard
GE Healthcare and Microsoft have teamed up to develop the Mural Virtual Care Solution, which is a dashboard for hospitals to use to remotely monitor patients. The dashboard integrates data from multiple systems and patient monitoring devices to guide more consistent treatment with the use of artificial intelligence.

FDA clears new disposable fog-free articulating 5mm laparoscope
Xenocor, Inc. announced the FDA cleared the new Xenocor Disposable 5mm Articulating Laparoscope for minimally invasive abdominal and thoracic surgery. The Xenoscope 5mm articulating disposable laparoscope is designed to improve image quality, reduce fog, lower hospital costs, and reduce biohazard risk for the patient and staff.

CRISPER technology may yield cheaper, easier coronavirus tests
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco Medical School and Mammoth Biosciences are developing a COVID-19 test based on CRISPR technology. CRISPR systems have been used by researchers to modify genetic material in living cells.

Register now for the N95DECON Mask Decontamination & Reuse Webinar
AAMI, AORN, and IAHCSMM are hosting the N95DECON Mask Decontamination & Reuse Webinar, featuring a volunteer collective of scientists, engineers, clinicians, students from universities across the U.S., and private sector professionals.

AORN to host virtual conference & expo
The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) is producing a virtual AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo on May 1. Attendees can stream education on-demand and earn CEUs, explore the virtual expo hall to discover new technologies and products, connect virtually with their perioperative peers, celebrate the nurse of the year, and attend the world movie premier of Behind the Mask.

Researchers develop UVC system to sterilize thousands of masks daily
To help healthcare workers cope with the shortage of critical personal protective equipment (PPE), researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a machine that uses ultraviolet (UVC) light to sterilize thousands of masks a day, making them safe for reuse.

OR Today Live! registration now open
Registration is now open for OR Today Live! in Denver. The conference features industry-leading speakers, an expo hall, the ability to earn up to 16 CEUs, and more. The conference runs from August 16–18.

New Beyond Clean episode is now available
In many facilities, sterile processing isn’t sufficiently supported financially, in terms of safety, and also in terms of education-based career ladders. This week we talk with Dr. Peter Nichol who is spearheading a research project that could change the way this industry is supported.


Issue 16 – 4/21

Building a Learning Ecosystem within Sterile Processing by Lisa Wakeman
Education is never simply a formality, but rather a way that we evolve. It’s not about checking a box and earning a CE credit. It starts with hardwiring foundational concepts and principles into a mental model and then building onto that foundation the structure that will become the architectural design of professional competence. There is a science and an art to everything, and not one individual can hold all the knowledge available. Philosophical statements from geniuses like Aristotle and Einstein have both made similar observations, that the more we know, the more we realize how much more there is yet to know. That’s why it takes all of us, as a community, to generate an ecosystem of knowledge and share it, particularly in the growing field of sterile processing.

FDA authorizes first test for patient at-home sample collection
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the first diagnostic test with a home collection option for COVID-19. Specifically, the FDA reissued the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp) COVID-19 RT-PCR Test to permit testing of samples self-collected by patients at home using LabCorp’s Pixel by LabCorp COVID-19 Test home collection kit.

oneSOURCE offers device reprocessing during COVID-19 webinar
oneSOURCE will present a one-hour webinar called Device Reprocessing During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Know and Reduce the Risks. Presenter Wava Truscott, Ph.D., MDA, will discuss who is most at risk for having a severe case of COVID-19 and why.

N95 masks can only be decontaminated, reworn 2 or 3 times safely, study shows
A National Institutes of Health study shows that N95 masks can be decontaminated and reused safely only two or three times, according to MedPage Today.

Medical Economics to host patient care guidance during COVID-19 webinar
Medical Economics invites all healthcare providers and office administrators to an informative and dynamic webinar designed to provide practice management and patient care guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is an unprecedented challenge for healthcare providers that requires them to rethink both how they treat patients and how to can stretch finances to keep the doors open.

OR Today Live! registration now open
Registration is now open for OR Today Live! in Denver. The conference features industry-leading speakers, an expo hall, the ability to earn up to 16 CEUs, and more.

New Beyond Clean episode is now available
In the United Kingdom, there has been much concern about prion diseases within proteins. The Department of Health in the UK has been looking at the number of people who are contaminated with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) or have a high volume of amyloid protein, which leads to Alzheimer’s disease.


Issue 15 – 4/14

Personalized vs. Optimized: Dealing with the Challenge of Surgeon-Specific Surgical Trays by Hank Balch
How do you get out of a situation where the vast majority of your trays are surgeon specific?
How do I demonstrate the waste in processing?
How do I convince my administrators and surgical service leaders to support me in this initiative?

These are real questions from a sterile processing manager in the field, but they are likely familiar questions for countless other department leaders around the country. Regardless of where your particular facility sits on the spectrum of surgeon-specific trays, the likelihood of you having this conversation at some point in your sterile processing career is quite high. For some of you, it is a weekly, if not daily, headache. For others it is a settled process that took years to hammer out. This article will take a look at the reasons for and against surgeon-specific trays, as well as provide insight on how to work through the challenge as smoothly and effectively as possible.

FDA authorizes blood purification device to treat COVID-19
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization for a blood purification system to treat patients 18 years of age or older with confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) with confirmed or imminent respiratory failure.

Scientists find drug used to treat Ebola effective against key coronavirus enzyme
Scientists at the University of Alberta have shown that the drug remdesivir, used to treat Ebola virus disease and Marburg virus infections, is remarkably effective in halting the replication mechanism of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The research was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Walgreens to begin drive-through COVID-19 testing
Walgreens is rolling out drive-through access to the quick-response COVID-19 Abbott Laboratories at 15 locations in seven states. The plan is to open locations outside some stores in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Texas.

Hyundai to provide COVID-19 tests, drive-through testing support in U.S.
Hyundai Motor Company’s North American unit will expand its support for drive-through testing at 22 hospitals for the coronavirus and donate 65,000 tests to hospitals in the United States.

How Vanderbilt’s nursing school is providing hands-on training amid the pandemic
An important part of training as a nurse is participating in hands-on clinical care, but now shelter-in-place regulations and school closures are preventing nursing students from gaining that hands-on experience. Nashville, TN-based Vanderbilt University School of Nursing is solving the problem in a creative way by having its instructors stand in for the students.

APIC cancels annual conference
APIC announced the cancellation of its annual conference due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement, APIC noted the need for infection preventionists, clinical leaders, and team members to provide care to patients at their facilities and the fact that most states have stay-at-home orders and bans on large gatherings as factors contributing to the decision to cancel the conference.

OR Today Live! registration now open
Registration is now open for OR Today Live! in Denver. The conference features industry-leading speakers, an expo hall, the ability to earn up to 16 CEUs, and more.

New Beyond Clean episode is available now
The nearly odorless chemicals used to sterilize medical devices are designed to kill, and sterilization technicians have good reason to question why hazardous chemicals are not monitored in their department. This episode of Beyond Clean features a conversation with David Hilliker, a champion of worker safety in the healthcare industry, about why it’s important to care about the potential for chemical exposure.


Issue 14 – 4/7

Reprocessing Reusable Medical Devices: Standards, Recommendations, and Guidelines by Chuck Hughes
Around the world, reusable medical devices continue to become more and more complex, and so does compliance with reprocessing best practices. Complex reusable medical devices often have detailed multistep instructions for use (IFUs) that require special resources the healthcare facility may not have anticipated or have available when they purchase, borrow, or trial new devices. In fact, it is not uncommon for reprocessing technicians to need additional employee competencies, policies, and procedures to be updated; specific cleaning and packaging supplies to be purchased; along with sometimes new processing equipment; or at a minimum, existing cleaning and sterilization equipment cycles to be adjusted. Some reusable medical devices even require the cleaning cycle to be repeated multiple times, along with the use of special inspection devices to confirm cleanliness prior to HLD or sterilization.

3D-printing company develops breathing system to reduce need for ventilators
Belgium-based 3D-printing company Materialise has developed the Materialise NIP Connector, a device to convert standard equipment available in most hospitals into a mask to facilitate breathing for patients by creating positive pressure in the lungs. These assembled masks allow clinicians to reduce the time patients need access to mechanical ventilators, which helps to reduce the strain on ventilator supplies.

The Joint Commission establishes COVID-19 resource page
The Joint Commission launched a COVID-19 resource page to help healthcare organizations and professionals on the front line of the pandemic. The page contains the latest information on PPE, ventilators, staffing, laboratory services, nursing care centers, and more.

oneSOURCE creates COVID-19 document database
Medical document company oneSOURCE has created a database featuring a set of manufacturers’ instructions for use (IFU) documents to help healthcare workers access cleaning information faster. The database is compiled from other oneSOURCE databases into a single source, and access is free to subscribers.

OR Today presents COVID-19 best practices webinar
On Thursday, April 9, at 2:00 ET, OR Today will host the COVID-19 Best Practices – Where We Are And Where We Are Heading webinar. The 60-minute webinar is presented by Dr. John Kutz, F.A.C.S. medical advisor at RepScrubs.

3M and Ford partner to produce respirators
3M and Ford Motor Company are collaborating on specific ways the companies can rapidly combine complementary capabilities and resources to help meet a surge in demand for 3M’s powered air purifying respirators (PAPRs) due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

OR Today Live! registration now open
Registration is now open for OR Today Live! in Denver. The conference features industry-leading speakers, an expo hall, the ability to earn up to 16 CEUs, and more.

Registration open for APIC 2020
Registration is now open for APIC 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona, June 10–12. APIC 2020 provides more than 100 educational sessions for effective infection control practices, networking opportunities, large exhibition hall, and 17 CEUs for attendees.

APIC 2020 offers travel grants, educational scholarships
APIC is partnering with Diversey to offer 25 educational scholarships to attend APIC 2020. Scholarship recipients will receive a $1,000 card toward their expenses to attend the event, including travel, hotel accommodations, meals, and registration.

Beyond Clean launches Season 8
Season 8 of Beyond Clean begins with a conversation with Dr. Aakash Agarwal, director of research and development for Spinal Balance Inc. Dr. Agarwal has been working extensively on research projects to study the effects of reprocessing implantable pedicle screws and their subsequent infection risk.