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NewSplash Archive – June 2019

Issue 26 – 6/25

Is the removable chuck (collet) of a mini blade handle interchangeable?
A: Yes. Many instrument suppliers provide the chuck (collet) separately, which universally fits any round (mini) blade handle. This small chuck has a tendency to fall off during cleaning and processing. (p. 365)

Q: How often should scissors be tested? (See next issue.)

Chemical Indicators: What to Use, When to Use It, and What’s the Difference between Them All? by Jonathan A. Wilder, Ph.D., Managing Director
Chemical sterilization indicators (CIs) are vital tools in an SPD, but since the last revision of AAMI/ANSI/ISO 11140-1, there are so many types of chemical indicators. Classes are dead. Long live the types! So what do you do with them?

As always, AAMI ST79 is the definitive reference, but take it with a grain of salt because you also have to follow the indicator manufacturers’ instructions for use. To ensure we are all speaking the same language, descriptions of each type of indicator are in a glossary at the end of this article.

Beyond Clean hosts second annual live event at IAHCSMM 2019
At the 2019 IAHCSMM Conference & Expo in Anaheim, Beyond Clean hosted its second annual panel discussion on the topic of sterility assurance. Panelists include Kelly Soto Pacheco from Steris representing biological indicators, Mike Eckenwiler from Getinge representing chemical indicators, and René Vis from Steelco Benelux B.V. representing parametric release. Watch the event and take the quiz for CE credit.

Researchers find that deadly fungal pathogen can spread through skin shedding
A new study has shown that patients who are heavily colonized with Candida auris on their skin can shed the fungus and contaminate their surroundings, explaining the extensive contamination that often occurs in healthcare facilities with C. auris outbreaks.

Rate of avoidable hospital deaths drops
An updated analysis prepared by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine researchers for The Leapfrog Group stated that the estimated number of avoidable deaths in U.S. hospitals each year has dropped. The researchers used the latest data from Leapfrog’s semiannual hospital safety grades and estimated there are 161,250 avoidable hospital deaths each year, which is down from an estimated 206,000 deaths three years ago.

Pure-Vu Gen2 receives FDA clearance
Motus GI announced that it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the second-generation Pure-Vu System to help clean a poorly prepared colon during the colonoscopy procedure.

Over 60 patients allege sterilization negligence at Porter Adventist Hospital
Sixty-seven patients and 22 spouses filed a lawsuit June 15 against Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver, claiming the hospital caused infections and death due to improper equipment sterilization, according to The Denver Post.

OR Today Live registration is open
Register now for OR Today Live, August 18–20, in Las Vegas. The conference features industry-leading speakers covering the latest in clinical, management, and CS/SPD; the opportunity to earn up to 16 CEs; exhibit hall with the latest technology, products, and services; and more.

New Beyond Clean episode now available
This recap from Season 1 features a conversation with Kara Nadeau of Healthcare Purchasing News. Kara discusses salaries of SPD workers and offers her professional perspectives on healthcare writing for the sterile processing community. Tune in and be sure to take the quiz for CE credit.

Issue 25 – 6/18

What causes a blurry image on a cystoscope?
A: Cystoscopes have a series of glass rod lenses that are commonly damaged during use and transport. If one of the lenses gets cracked, a blurry image will result. The repair vendor can replace the cracked rod lens. (p. 343)

Q: Is the removable chuck (collet) of a mini blade handle interchangeable? (See next issue.)

To Heck with Retention: 5 Reasons Turnover in Your SPD May Be a Good Thing by Hank Balch
As a sterile processing manager and then system director, one of the human resources metrics that I never appreciated was employee retention. Don’t get me wrong, I was and am a big fan of developing high-functioning, happy sterile processing teams. What I’m not a fan of is the status quo. One of the unfortunate things that employee retention encourages is keeping the status quo in place. This metric or measurement does not account for the many good reasons that a department may experience a high degree of employee turnover. Here are five of the most persuasive examples of when and how low employee retention numbers are something to celebrate.

EPA approves first infection control product to kill emerging pathogen
For the first time, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has cleared Medline’s Micro-Kill Bleach Germicidal Bleach Wipes to kill the emerging pathogen, Candida auris, on hard, nonporous surfaces. Candida auris is a multidrug-resistant fungus that has a mortality rate of 35% and has been shown to linger in healthcare facilities despite efforts to eradicate it with traditional disinfectants.

Researchers develop gene-targeted approach to study chronic wasting disease
Scientists researching chronic wasting disease (CWD), an always fatal prion disease affecting deer, elk, and members of the deer family, have been hindered due to the challenging aspects of the research, the cost, and the large laboratory spaces required. That may change because researchers at Colorado State University have developed a new gene-targeted approach to study CWD in mice, allowing new opportunities for research.

Chronic wasting disease vaccine delays illness in mice
Researchers at the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine indicate that four vaccine candidates for chronic wasting disease (CWD) have prolonged the lives of healthy mice that had been modified to produce an elk-type prion protein when infected with CWD prions. Dr. Hermann Schaetzl, an associate dean and leader of the Calgary Prion Research Unit, expects the vaccines produced by his team will reduce infection rates and shedding.

Twice-daily disinfection can reduce bacterial colonization on hospital tablet computers
With tablet computers becoming increasingly popular in hospital patient care, researchers conducted a hygiene intervention study of tablet computers used exclusively in a general internal medicine setting with high routine hygiene measures. They examined the change in colonizing bacteria on tablets before and after the introduction of a mandatory twice-daily disinfection intervention.

3M offers free live webinar
3M Health Care Academy is offering a free live webinar on Wednesday, June 19, at 2:00 P.M. EDT, complete with CE credit. The topic is “Contamination in the Patient Environment: Preventing the Bug Show from Going on the Road,” presented by Tara White. In the webinar, Tara will explain the mechanisms of transmission of pathogens from the environment to the patient.

OR Today Live registration is open
Register now for OR Today Live, August 18–20, in Las Vegas. The conference features industry-leading speakers covering the latest in clinical, management, and CS/SPD; the opportunity to earn up to 16 CEs; exhibit hall with the latest technology, products, and services; and more.

New Beyond Clean episode now available
This episode from Season 1 features a conversation with Shawn Flynn and his team about prioritizing design considerations and the kinds of creative ideas you can employ to function within budget and space constraints. They share helpful insights for those who are preparing for new construction or renovation of their own SPDs. Be sure to complete the exam for CE credit.

Issue 24 – 6/11

Why do surgeons often complain about the sharpness of an arthroscopy punch?
A: The cutting surface is small, and with the high usage of punch sets, these small surfaces dull quickly. (p. 329)

Q: What causes a blurry image on a cystoscope? (See next issue.)

Accreditation Surveys: Guidance for Meeting Reprocessing Standards by Rose Seavey, MBA, BS, RN, CNOR, CRCST, CSPDT
Reprocessing of reusable medical devices is a major focal point of today’s healthcare accreditation surveys, such as those conducted by The Joint Commission (TJC) or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). As a response to reports of patients being notified of risks for infection transmission due to lapses in basic cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization of medical devices, surveyors will be looking for risk reduction and process improvements relating to sterilization and high-level disinfection (HLD).

FDA approves new treatment for hospital-acquired and ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new indication for the previously FDA-approved drug, Zerbaxa, for the treatment of hospital-acquired bacterial pneumonia and ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia (HABP/VABP) in patients 18 years of age and older. Zerbaxa was initially approved in 2014 to treat complicated intra-abdominal infections and urinary tract infections.

Three design considerations for SPDs
It’s imperative that the sterile processing department (SPD) is designed to maximize efficiency, prioritize safety, and adhere to industry standards set by groups such as AAMI, AORN, and The Joint Commission.

Study shows link between nurse understaffing and HAIs
A recent study conducted by Columbia University School of Nursing found an association between nurse understaffing and healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in patients, demonstrating that understaffing increases the risk of HAIs. The study included an analysis of urinary tract infections, bloodstream infections, and pneumonia.

Pumping heart patch ready for human use
According to researchers, a pumping patch containing millions of living, beating stem cells could help repair damage caused by a heart attack. The small patch is grown in a lab from a sample of the patient’s own cells.

3M offers free live webinar
3M Health Care Academy is offering a free live webinar on Wednesday, June 19, at 2:00 P.M. EDT, complete with CE credit. The topic is “Contamination in the Patient Environment: Preventing the Bug Show from Going on the Road,” presented by Tara White. In the webinar, Tara will explain the mechanisms of transmission of pathogens from the environment to the patient.

Register now for APIC 2019
Registration is open for APIC 2019 in Philadelphia, PA. APIC is the largest gathering of infection prevention professionals in the world.

OR Today Live registration is open
Register now open for OR Today Live in Las Vegas. The conference is August 18–20 and features industry-leading speakers covering the latest in clinical, management, and CS/SPD; the opportunity to earn up to 16 CEs; exhibit hall with the latest technology, products, and services; and more.

New Beyond Clean episode now available
This rerelease from Season 1 features a conversation with Nestor Hernandez about SPD professionals finding their voice, their commitment to serving patients via medical device reprocessing, and the impact their work has on the world around them. Following the episode, be sure to complete the exam for CE credit.

Issue 23 – 6/4

Do ear curettes need to be sharpened frequently?
A: No. Ear curettes come in sharp and blunt configurations and sharpening is rare. It is best practice to purchase new. (p. 287)

Q: Why do surgeons often complain about the sharpness of an arthroscopy punch? (See next issue.)

You Are Your Brother’s Keeper: Why Minding Other People’s Business in SPD Actually Is Your Job by Hank Balch
The real epidemic in many sterile processing departments across the U.S. is not measles or the flu, it’s a disease called MMOB (Mind My Own Business), and its side effects can be just as debilitating and deadly as the most virulent strain of H1N1. Let’s take a look at how this cultural bug can infect your team and why it’s imperative that you do everything in your power to fight against it.

IAHCSMM 2019 campaign winner: Marisa Gwinn
The winner of the special IAHCSMM 2019 Sign Up Now campaign is Marisa Gwinn from Pratt Regional Medical Center. Congratulations, Marisa! Thank you for signing up to receive NewSplash weekly.

Olympus launches Scope Pro-tech endoscopic tip protector
Olympus, via an exclusive distribution agreement with Meditech Endoscopy, has launched the Scope Pro-tech endoscopic tip protector. The Scope Pro-tech endoscopic tip protector is a sterile, cage-like cover designed to protect the distal tip and flexible rubber section of endoscopes during transport or while being stored.

Lab tests reveal plant-based medicines attack drug-resistant bacteria
During the Civil War, the Confederate Surgeon General commissioned a guide to traditional Southern plant remedies because battlefield physicians faced high rates of infection among the wounded and shortages of conventional medicine. A new study led by scientists at Emory University focused on three plants from the guide: white oak, tulip poplar, and the devil’s walking stick.

Don’t miss ECRI Institute’s podcast on endoscope reprocessing
On a recent episode of the ECRI Institute’s podcast, Smart Healthcare Safety, the Institute’s James Davis and Jackie Ferenschak discuss why endoscopes are difficult to reprocess effectively and share strategies for helping staff succeed. The inadequate reprocessing of flexible endoscopes led to 30,000 patients being called for follow-up testing between 2005 and 2012.

2019 UDI Conference registration now open
Registration is now open for the 2019 UDI Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. The annual unique device identification (UDI) conference is dedicated to guidance and training for those affected by UDI regulation.

Register now for APIC 2019
Registration is open for APIC 2019 in Philadelphia, PA. APIC is the largest gathering of infection prevention professionals in the world. The conference offers more than 100 educational sessions, networking opportunities, 16 CEUs, and an expo hall with more than 270 exhibitors.

OR Today Live registration is open
Register now open for OR Today Live in Las Vegas. The conference is August 18–20 and features industry-leading speakers covering the latest in clinical, management, and CS/SPD; the opportunity to earn up to 16 CEs; exhibit hall with the latest technology, products, and services; and more.

New Beyond Clean episode now available
This week’s episode from Season 1 is a conversation with Adam Okada about the impact of mobile application technology on the sterile processing industry, education, and the future of professional networking. Be sure to complete the exam for CE credit.