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NewSplash Archive – October 2018

Issue 44 – 10/30

Why are some cardiac forceps blue?
A: The blue color forceps indicates that it is made of titanium. Titanium forceps are lightweight, nonmagnetic, and stronger than stainless steel forceps, but also more costly.

Q: What is the difference between an osteotome and a chisel? (See next issue.)

To Match or Not to Match: The Rigid Container Workflow Debate by Hank Balch
I’m going there. I’m going there because many of us have been engaging in these intramural debates for some time now, and the arguments are worth laying out there for all to see. I’ll report, you decide. And like any good jury, I’m willing to be convinced either way. At the root of it all is trying finding an answer to the following question: Should rigid containers be married to their internal baskets? Let’s take a look at the two perspectives that dominate the debate.

APIC and CDC develop quick observation tools to help prevent HAIs
The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the availability of free, downloadable Quick Observation Tools (QUOTs) for infection control to help healthcare facilities quickly identify infection prevention deficiencies and take corrective action in real time to protect patients from healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).

Researchers create surfaces that repel everything but targeted exceptions
Researchers at McMaster University have engineered surface coatings that can repel bacteria, viruses, and living cells. The coatings can be modified to permit beneficial exceptions. The discovery holds significant promise for medical and other applications, making it possible for implants such as vascular grafts, replacement heart valves, and artificial joints to bond to the body without risk of infection or blood clotting.

2019 National Patient Safety Goals now available
The 2019 National Patient Safety Goals (NPSGs) are now available on The Joint Commission’s website. You can download the entire chapter from the accreditation standards manual or easy-to-read versions.

IAHCSMM 2019 early bird registration to open November 1
Early bird registration for IAHCSMM 2019 Conference & Expo in Anaheim, CA, is open from November 1 through December 31. The conference runs from April 27 to May 1, 2019, and attendees who register before January 1, 2019, save up to $300.

IAHCSMM issues call for posters
Have you learned something that can benefit other CS professionals? Do you have a creative streak? If so, IAHCSMM invites you to submit a poster presentation for the 2019 IAHCSMM Annual Conference & Expo.

APIC/SHEA Joint Leadership Development Course
The APIC/SHEA Joint Leadership Course is an exclusive, high-level, three-day interactive learning experience that will provide participants with the leadership skills they need for effective Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) leadership in their facility.

New Beyond Clean episode is now available
This week’s guest on Beyond Clean is Moses Chang, healthcare systems director at Xerafy.He spent the last 12 years in the auto ID industry and is currently leading the company’s global business development and sales efforts to create an ecosystem of channel partners, medical device manufacturers, distributors, and service providers. The topic this week is the changing landscape of instrument tracking. Check it out and complete the exam for CE credit.


Issue 43 – 10/23

How do you test the ratchet of a hemostat?
A: Test the ratchet by slowly locking the hemostat in each position. A second test is to lock the instrument on the first ratchet and gently tap the rings on a flat work surface (not the palm of your hand). If after 3 or 4 taps the ratchet holds, flip the instrument over and repeat the test. If the ratchet springs open during either test, the instrument should be sent out for repair. (p. 88)

Q: Why are some cardiac forceps blue? (See next issue.)

Precleaning Flexible Endoscopes: Time Is of the Essence by Sara Freiberg
Flexible endoscopes are essential, yet complex and fragile medical devices. One only needs to view the internal schematics to note the various channels, control body mechanisms, light fibers, angulation wires, bending section, distal tip, CCD (camera chip), and more to understand the intricate work that takes place in the design process. The combination of flexibility, elasticity, strength, and torquing ability is both an art and science.

TransEnterix receives FDA 510(k) clearance for 3mm diameter instruments
TransEnterix recently received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) clearance for 3-millimeter diameter instruments, as well as additional 5-millimeter Senhance System instruments. The clearance of the 3-millimeter diameter instruments will allow Senhance to be used with microlaparoscopic surgeries, enabling surgeons to operate through minute incisions that leave patients virtually scarless.

Hospital-acquired conditions dropped 21% from 2010–15
Hospitals and health systems have significantly reduced hospital-acquired conditions, unplanned readmissions and healthcare-associated infections over the last 10 years, according to a report from the American Hospital Association.

New CME/CE activity launched
Elsevier Office of Continuing Medical Education, Elsevier and ASiM CE LLC have launched a new CME/CE activity on Combating Drug Resistant Gram-Negative Infections: Giving Convention Antibiotics New Capabilities.

Acute care hospitals report huge decline in HAI rates in 2016
In 2016, acute care hospitals in the U.S. reported a significant decrease in seven healthcare-associated infections over the previous year, as stated in the CDC’s 2016 Healthcare-Associated Infection Progress Report. Acute care hospitals reported significant decreases in central line-associated bloodstream infections; catheter-associated urinary tract infections; MRSA bacteremia infections; C. difficile events; abdominal hysterectomy SSIs; colon surgery SSIs; and ventilator-associated events.

Hospital sink traps may harbor antibiotic-resistant bacteria, study finds
Sink traps may pose as hidden reservoirs for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to a study published Oct. 4 in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

Simple stickers may save lives of heart patients, athletes, and lower medical costs
Researchers at Purdue University are working on a wearable electronic device that will allow doctors to continuously monitor heart patients. The devise is referred to as a smart sticker and is made of cellulose, which is biocompatible and breathable.

New Beyond Clean episode is now available
This week’s guest on Beyond Clean is Jenni Gibbs, manager of central sterile department at Altru Health System. Jenni developed a dedicated scope team and a career-growth track for her employees to include paid certification education and technician levels. In May 2017, Altru’s central sterile department moved to centralized, organization-wide endoscope reprocessing program. In June 2018, Altru was the first U.S. facility to sterilize duodenoscopes using hydrogen peroxide and ozone technology. Be sure tune in and complete the exam for CE credit.


Issue 42 – 10/16

International CS Week is here
All of us at NewSplash and Ultra Clean Systems would like to extend our gratitude to all CS professionals and acknowledge your commitment to patient safety. It all begins with you. Thank you for your dedication!

For scissors, can a sharp tip be replaced?
A: Yes. If one tip breaks off, a good repair technician can approximate both tips, which creates a custom scissor. And it costs a lot less than buying a new sharp/sharp scissor.

Q: How do you test the ratchet of a hemostat? (See next issue.)

Mission: Possible
NewSplash and Ultra Clean Systems would like to thank everyone for your thoughtful entries in our Mission: Possible challenge. After considerable time and scrutiny, we managed to agree on the three recipients of IAHCSMM Conference & Expo 2019 scholarships.

Small But Mighty: 4 Tips on Ensuring Your Little CS/SPD Has a Big Impact by Hank Balch
Whether you fly your sterile processing ship solo every day or boast a grand total of three or four technicians on board, the complexity and value of your mission for safe surgery is exactly the same as if you worked in a large medical center with 75 other technicians, specialists, and leaders hustling and bustling around you. Your team may be small, but there’s no reason it can’t be mighty in the fight against dangerous microbial fire-breathers. Here are four tips to help you make it happen.

NIH study finds probiotic Bacillus eliminates Staphylococcus bacteria
Scientists from National Institutes of Health (NIH) and their Thai colleagues conducted a study that shows that a good bacterium commonly found in probiotic digestive supplements helps eliminate Staphylococcus aureus, a type of bacteria that can lead to serious antibiotic-resistant infections. The researchers unexpectedly found that Bacillus bacteria prevented S. aureus bacteria from growing in the gut and nose of healthy individuals.

The critical role of point-of-use precleaning in instrument reprocessing workflows
Healthcare organizations accredited by the Joint Commission continue to discover serious noncompliance issues with the Infection Prevention and Control Standard IC.02.02.01. Organizations continue to be in noncompliance by not having robust processes in place to reduce the risk of infections associated with medical devices.

APIC/SHEA Joint Leadership Development Course
The APIC/SHEA Joint Leadership Course is an exclusive, high-level, three-day interactive learning experience that will provide participants with the leadership skills they need for effective Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) leadership in their facility.

Hurricane Michael decimates Florida Panhandle communities
Hurricane Michael made landfall as a strong Category 4 on Mexico Beach, Florida, a small coastal town southeast of Panama City. He then continued his path of destruction through Georgia (also affecting Alabama), South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Pioneering CJD treatment to be given to British patient
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rare but devastating disease that causes brain damage and for which there is no cure. It is always fatal, and most patients die within six weeks of diagnosis.

New Beyond Clean episode is now available
This week on Beyond Clean, the hosts speak with Bert Dommerholt, CEO at DOVIDEQ Medical. Bert is an entrepreneur who has worked in the medical device industry for more than 25 years. The topic this week is the battle for quality assurance of rigid scopes. Tune in and take the exam for one CE credit.


Issue 41 – 10/9

When should you test a laparoscopic instrument’s insulation?

A: To reduce the chance of thermal burning, insulation should be inspected and checked with an insulation tester every time the instrument comes through the assembly area. (p. 67)

Q: For scissors, can a sharp tip be replaced? (See next issue.)

Ultra Clean Systems and NewSplashare proud to present our second annual IAHCSMM scholarship. The response has been incredible! There’s still time to enter, but you need to hurry. The deadline is Thursday, October 11 at 11:59 p.m. Submit your entry now and good luck!

Toxic Anterior Segment Syndrome (TASS): Are We Ever out of the Woods? (part 3) by Sara Freiberg
Questions surrounding additional risk factors which may contribute toward TASS are worth noting. Lawrence F. Muscarella, PhD, has written an interesting article featured in The journal of American Society of Ophthalmic Registered Nurses (ASORN) INSIGHT magazine, which discusses these very questions. Through his research, Dr. Muscarella brings to light that enzymatic detergents used to clean intraocular surgical instruments have not been documented as either a primary cause or a significant contributor to TASS.
 Dr. Muscarella shares additional risk factors for TASS may be identified, including bacterial contamination of water reservoirs in steam sterilizers, immediate use steam sterilization, as well as potential damages on ophthalmic instruments.

Cleveland Clinic performs first prostate surgery in U.S. using single-port SP robot
Jihad Kaouk, M.D., professor of surgery and director of the Center for Robotic and Image Guided Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, was the first surgeon in the U.S. to perform surgeries using the da Vinci SP robot. Three surgeries were performed: two surgeries to remove cancerous prostates and one to remove an enlarged prostate that was blocking the urinary system through the bladder.

Olympus launches OER-Mini for ENT endoscopes
Olympus has introduced the OER-Mini tabletop endoscope reprocessor for ENT applications. The OER-Mini helps enhance efficiency by removing some manual steps of reprocessing endoscopes via high-level disinfecting.

Glow-in-the-dark paper provides rapid test for infectious diseases
Researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology and Keio University have created a practical, reliable method to test for infectious diseases. The test requires only a special glowing paper strip, a drop of blood, and a digital camera.

ECRI Institute releases 2019 health technology hazards list
ECRI Institute recently released its2019 Top 10 Health Technology Hazards. At the top of the list is health technology cybersecurity.

Seattle doctors and scientists create database to track and fight superbugs
A group of doctors and scientists in Seattle have started a nonprofit organization called the Antibiotic Resistance Monitoring, Analysis and Diagnostics Alliance (ARMADA) that will create a database of drug-resistant strains of bacteria and note how they react to a variety of antibiotics. The data will be shared with hospitals and microbiology labs, and will enable doctors to immediately identify the most effective drug for patients.

4 findings on the cost-effectiveness of hand hygiene compliance
study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection examined the cost-effectiveness of multimodal hospital interventions to improve hand hygiene compliance.

New Beyond Clean episode is now available
This week’s guest on Beyond Clean is Kathy Mazza, clinical director of sales at Sklar Instruments. Kathy has more than 20 years’ experience in healthcare as a clinician and in a sales capacity. She has contributed articles to Healthcare Purchasing News and has spoken at IAHCSMM educational conferences and guest lectured for CS certification programs. The topic this week is the case for single-use instruments.


Issue 40 – 10/2

Q: How often should the insulation be tested on a laparoscopic instrument?
Look for the answer in the next issue.

Last issue, Ultra Clean Systems announced our second annual IAHCSMM scholarship and the response has been tremendous!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to submit a briefing between 200 and 500 words detailing how you thwarted attacks by dangerous infections attempting to compromise patient safety in your SPD. You may also send images, documents, or video to further document the success of your triumph (optional).

Mission: Possible by Hank Balch
Every day in hospitals across the globe there is a secret mission taking place. Small groups of highly trained experts are assembled in hospital basements and corner departments behind closed doors to put an end to hospital acquired infections, using their talents and skills to save the world from dangerous weapons of mass microbial destruction.

A doctor, a smartphone, an app, and a speedy diagnosis
A research team from UC Santa Barbara has developed a new smartphone app and lab kit that will allow the smartphone to identify bacteria from patients anywhere in the world. This will allow doctors to diagnose diseases and prescribe appropriate antibiotics within one hour, meaning faster recovery and lower costs for patients.

4-1-1 on Survey Enhancements: New scoring revisions for IC.02.02.01 now in effect
Infection Control (IC) standard IC.02.02.01 requires hospitals to reduce the risk of infections associated with medical equipment, devices, and supplies, and it continues to be one of the most commonly cited standards listed as noncompliant. In 2017, 72% of surveyed hospitals and critical access hospitals were found to be noncompliant with this standard.

Real-world success with UVC disinfection: How Providence St. Peter Hospital utilizes Tru-D SmartUVC
With HAI rates increasing, more superbugs discovered each year and increased financial accountability for infection rates, it’s critical for hospitals to provide the cleanest environments possible to protect patients and staff from infections. Tru-D SmartUVC is changing the way healthcare works by providing hospitals with state-of-the-art technology that helps keep hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) at bay.

Study details how learning communities support adoption of healthcare innovations
A study in the October 2018 issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety details how three learning communities sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) focused on adopting healthcare innovations.

Sign up now for OR Excellence 2018
OR Excellence 2018 will be held at Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, on October 3–5. At OR Excellence, you will attend workshops and classes on a variety of topics and learn new skills, network with colleagues, receive helpful tips on improving patient outcomes, and more.

Beyond Clean begins second year
Beyond Clean is back and begins their second year with guest Don Tumminelli, senior technical manager of client services at Highpower Labs. Don has more than 13 years’ experience in the medical device industry and is an expert on sterilization. The topic this week is the unknown world of medical device validation.