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NewSplash Archive – January 2021

Issue 4 – 1/26

How Treating a Hospital Like a Successful Business Can Help It Run Like One by Mary Olivera
It may be forgotten over the course of a day of saving lives and treating patients, but a hospital or medical facility is indeed a business. There are employees (the doctors, nurses, support staff, the maintenance crew) and there are customers (the patients, their family members, and even other departments). There are standards to uphold, feedback to take in, and processes to refine. As patients (and even employees) increasingly do their research before committing to a facility, it is imperative that hospital leaders do what they can to make sure that the experience is positive for all involved.

WHO issues new clinical advice for treating COVID-19 patients
The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued new clinical advice for treating COVID-19 patients, including those that display persistent symptoms post-recovery. It also recommended using low-dose anticoagulants to prevent blood clots.

Some COVID-19 mutations could hamper vaccine effectiveness
Scientists are concerned that recent mutations of the virus that causes COVID-19 may render two of the current vaccines less effective, but they stress that the vaccines will still protect against the virus. Their concerns follow preliminary findings that suggest future mutations could impair the vaccines.

Test strip on masks to detect COVID-19 infection in wearer
Researchers at the University of California San Diego are developing a color-changing test strip that adheres to a mask to detect SARS-CoV-2 in the wearer’s breath or saliva. The researchers hope to provide a simple, affordable, and reliable method of detecting COVID-19 infections daily.

Study shows Regeneron’s antibody cocktail effective in preventing COVID-19 infection
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals announced its two-antibody cocktail, REGEN-COV, is effective in preventing COVID-19 in people exposed to the coronavirus. The announcement follows interim results from a late-stage study.

Research shows people with high omega-3 index less likely to die from COVID-19
Researchers with the Fatty Acid Research Institute (FARI) and collaborators at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and in Orange County, CA, have published the first direct evidence that higher omega-3 blood levels may reduce risk for death from COVID-19 infection.

Combination AstraZeneca-Sputnik V vaccine trials to begin in February
In early February, researchers will begin human trials of a coronavirus vaccine combining AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s vaccine with Russia’s Sputnik V. The trials will take place in Azerbaijan, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Belarus, and Russia, among other countries.

Beyond Clean Season 11
This week’s guest on Beyond Clean is Bryan Croft, senior vice president of operations at Cedars-Sinai. The topic of conversation is the widespread disconnect between hospital leadership and the sterile processing professionals who help keep surgeries going.


Issue 3 – 1/19

How to Create Professional Resolutions by Sarah B. Cruz
Professional resolutions could be a foreign concept to CS techs. When we have fallen into the monotony of the punch-in, punch-out mentality, it’s hard to think our job situation could be anything different. But it’s the new year, the time when our calendars motivate us to think of all the goals we want to achieve in the year to come. Sure, there are the classic resolutions like lose weight, drink more water, or learn a different language. But what about professional resolutions? If we could change anything about how we professionally grow, what would it be? Some actionable resolutions can include certification, a raise, a climb up the career ladder, and even a position in a different facility.

Study shows COVID-19 infection gives immunity to some, but virus can still spread
A study by scientists at Public Health England of British healthcare workers has found that people who have had COVID-19 are likely to have immunity to it for at least five months. There is also evidence suggesting that those with antibodies may still carry and spread the virus.

Metformin use reduces risk of death for patients with COVID-19 and diabetes
Use of the diabetes drug metformin—before a diagnosis of COVID-19—is associated with a threefold decrease in mortality in COVID-19 patients with Type 2 diabetes, according to a racially diverse study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Diabetes is a significant comorbidity for COVID-19.

U.S. changes COVID-19 vaccine policy to speed up shots
In the midst of a slow COVID-19 vaccine rollout and climbing death rates, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced a series of changes to increase supplies of vaccines, extend eligibility to more seniors, and increase the number of locations where people can get vaccinated.

Should you still wear a mask and practice social distancing after receiving COVID-19 vaccine
As more people receive COVID-19 vaccines, questions arise regarding whether or not they still need to use masks and practice social distancing. According to infectious disease specialists, the answer is yes.

FDA clears Cios Flow mobile C-arm system
Siemens Healthineers has announced the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) clearance of the Cios Flow, a mobile C-arm designed for use by multiple disciplines in the operating room—including orthopedics, trauma surgery, spinal surgery, vascular surgery, and pain therapy—to increase the ease and efficiency of everyday imaging workflows for surgical interventions. This multidisciplinary functionality helps to ensure high-capacity system use, making the Cios Flow cost-effective.

Register now for Emerging SARS-CoV-2 Variants webinar
On Tuesday, January 26, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. ET, MJH Life Sciences COVID-19 Coalition will present the Emerging SARS-CoV-2 Variants: What you Need to Know live webinar. The webinar will cover the South African B.1.351 and United Kingdom B.1.1.7 variants of the virus and address questions regarding how these variants emerged, are they more transmissible, do they cause more serious disease, will vaccines currently in use provide protection against these variants, and more.

Beyond Clean Season 11
This week’s guest is Beyond Clean’s very own cofounder and president, Hank Balch. Hank discusses the culture of sterile processing, why it matters, and how to build it. Tune in to hear much of the why behind what you see every day from Beyond Clean, and find out the creative ways that you can change our entire global industry right where you are.


Issue 2 – 1/12

Our Productivity Metrics Are Broken: An Argument for Usable Units of Service by Hank Balch
“I can get it to you quick or I can get it to you sterile, but I can’t do both.”

Herein lies the challenge of sterile processing productivity. On one side stands quantity (speed) and on the other side stands quality (sterility). But there is another glaring issue with how we measure productivity in our industry today to which no one seems to have found a solution. How do we measure productivity in a way that actually makes sense for what it is that sterile processing is responsible for?

BioNTech to increase COVID-19 vaccine output to 2 billion doses for 2021
BioNTech SE, Pfizer Inc.’s partner, has increased the target COVID-19 vaccine delivery for 2021 from approximately 1.3 billion doses to 2 billion doses. The increase is the result of adding new production lines and extracting more doses per vial.

FDA issues alert regarding SARS-CoV-2 viral mutation to healthcare providers and clinical laboratory staff
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting clinical laboratory staff and healthcare providers that the FDA is monitoring the potential impact of viral mutations, including an emerging variant from the United Kingdom known as the B.1.1.7 variant, on authorized SARS-CoV-2 molecular tests, and that false negative results can occur with any molecular test for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 if a mutation occurs in the part of the virus’s genome assessed by that test. The SARS-CoV-2 virus can mutate over time, like all viruses, resulting in genetic variation in the population of circulating viral strains, as seen with the B.1.1.7 variant.

Two anti-inflammatory drugs shown to save COVID-19 patient lives
Researchers in the U.K. have found that two readily available anti-inflammatory medications cut deaths of the sickest COVID-19 patients by 25%. The drugs, tocilizumab and sarilumab, are administered via IV drip and reduce inflammation, which can become excessive in COVID patients and cause damage to the lungs and other organs.

Moderna CEO says vaccine likely to protect for “a couple of years”
Moderna’s CEO recently stated that the company’s COVID-19 mRNA vaccine will likely offer protection for a couple of years, although more data is required to fully back that statement.

Distalmotion received European CE Mark for Dexter surgical robot
Swiss-based medical device company Distalmotion received the European CE Mark for its surgical robot, Dexter. Dexter combines the affordability of laparoscopy with the benefits of robotic surgery to bring simplicity and versatility in minimally invasive surgical care.

Peeking inside “mini-brains” cold boost understanding of the human brain
“Mini-brains” are pin-head sized collections of several different types of human brain cell. They are used as a tool, allowing scientists to learn about how the brain develops, study disease, and test new medicines. Personalized mini-brains can be grown from stem cells generated from a sample of human hair or skin and could shed light on how brain disease progresses in an individual and how this person may respond to drugs.

Beyond Clean Season 11
On this episode, Carolyn Hooks and Traci Farley, from Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughter’s in Norfolk, Virginia, talk about the creative way their teams came together through a unique technology solution to build teamwork and drive change. Tune in to hear their hospital’s story, and hopefully draw the inspiration and tools you need to make progress on the headaches you face every day in your SPD.


Issue 1 – 1/5

The Authentic Leadership Model: Leading Change in Sterile Processing by Lisa McKown
Defining leadership is something each one of us must do on a philosophical level as we live and work within the establishments of our society. There are many definitions and ideas associated with leadership; however, a more recent focus has shifted to the role of influence as it relates to leading others. Kevin Kruse states in an article published by Forbes magazine that leadership has little to do with one’s title or role; instead,Leadership is the process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal.” Formal or informal positions can both have a direct or indirect level of impact on the engagement of individuals within a collective effort; therefore, a frontline technician can have just as much influence on a team for good or bad as someone in a higher-level leadership role.

FDA issues statement to adhere to COVID-19 vaccine dosing schedules
Two different mRNA vaccines have now shown to be about 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 disease in adults. As the first round of vaccine recipients become eligible to receive their second dose, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) wants to remind the public about the importance of receiving COVID-19 vaccines according to how they’ve been authorized by the FDA in order to safely receive the level of protection observed in the large, randomized trials supporting their effectiveness.

2021 Guidelines for Perioperative Practice available from AORN
The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) published the 2021 Guidelines for Perioperative Practice.

Bolder Surgical launches CoolSeal Vessel Sealing platform
Bolder Surgical announced the launch of its CoolSeal Vessel Sealing platform. Bolder Surgical provides surgeons with surgical instruments to safely and effectively perform minimally invasive surgery in pediatric patients from neonate to teenager.

AAMI Awards nominations accepted now
The AAMI and AAMI Foundation Awards are accepting nominations in several categories through January 11. The awards recognize contributions by health technology’s leaders and innovators that have moved the industry forward through awards, grants, and scholarship programs.

Beyond Clean kicks off Season 11
Season 11 begins with a conversation with Suneil Mandava, founder and CEO of Mobile Aspects, about the challenges of endoscope tracking and tracing in hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, and GI suites.