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NewSplash Archive – October 2021

Issue 41 – October 26, 2021

Announcing SPD Reprocessing Star scholarship recipients
NewSplash and Ultra Clean Systems would like to thank everyone who submitted entries in our SPD Reprocessing Star scholarship challenge. This was our fifth annual IAHCSMM scholarship challenge, and we are very happy with all of the thoughtful submissions and delicious recipes (well-earned brownie points) from all of you dedicated sterile processing professionals. Once again, the quality and quantity of your entries made it difficult to select only three recipients for the IAHCSMM Conference & Expo 2022 scholarships.

Speed Matters: Why Quality Is Not the Ultimate Standard for Sterile Processing by Hank Balch
How many patients are on your surgery schedule for tomorrow? For the sake of this argument, let’s say you have 20 cases booked. When do those patients need their surgery? Tomorrow, right? That’s why they are on the schedule. No disagreements yet.

Even if many of those cases are elective procedures, those patients will still be showing up at 5:30 a.m. at your hospital to begin their preop assessments and prep for their procedures. Most have taken off of work (along with a loved one), dealt with all the mental anxiety associated with a surgical procedure, and stopped eating or drinking anything since the night before. They’ve signed the release forms, said their prayers, kissed their loved ones, and headed off to preop. Others may be coming to surgery directly from the emergency room as a result of a ruptured appendix, car wreck, violent crime, or a host of other emergent reasons. They may or may not be conscious, but they are definitely in need of immediate surgical care.

FDA takes additional actions on the use of a booster dose for COVID-19 vaccines
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took action to expand the use of a booster dose for COVID-19 vaccines in eligible populations. The agency is amending the emergency use authorizations (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccines to allow for the use of a single booster dose…

COVID-19 vaccines for children
Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna have recently announced that their respective vaccines are safe and effective for children.

New cancer treatment may reawaken the immune system
Immunotherapy is a promising strategy to treat cancer by stimulating the body’s own immune system to destroy tumor cells, but it only works for a handful of cancers. MIT researchers have now discovered a new way to jump-start the immune system to attack tumors, which they hope could allow immunotherapy to be used against more types of cancer.

2021 IAHCSMM Virtual Conference & Expo underway
The 2021 IAHCSMM Virtual Conference & Expo runs until October 28 with a sophisticated presentation that engages attendees. Sign in and tune into the virtual conference, attend sessions, visit the virtual expo hall, and more.

Beyond Clean Season 14
Regulatory compliance is perhaps the number one driving force in sterile storage upgrades in the SPD, but checking boxes so you don’t get cited shouldn’t be the ultimate goal. Candice Kauffman, sterile processing manager at UC Health and Beyond Clean advisory group member, talks about building sterile storage areas into centers of excellence.

 

Issue 40 – October 19, 2021

HURRY! LAST WEEK TO ENTER. DEADLINE IS OCTOBER 24.
SPD Reprocessing Star scholarship challenge
We have been busy in our kitchen cooking up the next great IAHCSMM scholarship challenge. Do you have what it takes to be a star? We’re searching for the next SPD Reprocessing Star. Tell us by entering the SPD Reprocessing Star scholarship challenge. Explain your recipe for success in your SPD, how the ingredients interact with one another, and your favorite method of cooking everything to assist your colleagues and ensure patient safety.

I Am Not a Good Writer by Sarah B. Cruz
“I can’t spell to save my life!”

“I am such a slow typist.”
“Grammar? Yeah, haven’t thought of that since high school.”
“No one would understand what I am trying to say.”

How many of us have said some form of the statements listed above? I would raise a hand for each one if I could. I had myself convinced that I was not good at writing. Any time I thought about putting pen to paper, one of these phrases would pop into my head. My brain would scream, “Put the pen down and slowly back away from the paper.”

FDA advisory committee authorizes booster dose of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
Moderna confirmed that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) recommended that the FDA grant an emergency use authorization (EUA) for a booster dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (mRNA-1273) at the 50 µg dose level for people aged 65 and older; people aged 18 to 64 who are at high risk of severe COVID-19; and people aged 18 to 64 whose exposure to COVID-19 puts them at risk for COVID-19 complications or severe illness. The positive vote was unanimous with 19 VRBPAC members recommending EUA.

One coronavirus vaccine may protect against other coronaviruses
Northwestern Medicine scientists have shown for the first time that coronavirus vaccines and prior coronavirus infections can provide broad immunity against other, similar coronaviruses. The findings build a rationale for universal coronavirus vaccines that could prove useful in the face of future epidemics.

COVID hygiene could help fight antibacterial resistance
Keeping up COVID-levels of hygiene awareness long-term could help tackle the spread of deadly antimicrobial resistance, according to new research from the University of West London (UWL) and Royal Holloway University of London.  

2021 IAHCSMM Virtual Conference & Expo underway
IAHCSMM kicked off the 2021 Virtual Conference & Expo on October 15 with a sophisticated presentation that engages attendees. Sign in and tune into the virtual conference, attend sessions, visit the virtual expo hall, and more.

Beyond Clean Season 14
This week’s guest is Bobby Parker, BA, CRCST, CIS, CHL, CER, clinical manager at Beyond Clean. Bobby discusses the impact the SPD and OR liaisons can have on a facility’s sterile storage workflow and organization. Tune in to hear how this role can change culture, improve processes, and take your department to the pinnacle of industry recognition and success.

 

Issue 39 – October 12, 2021

BREAKING NEWS! DEADLINE TO ENTER EXTENDED
SPD Reprocessing Star scholarship challenge
We have been busy in our kitchen cooking up the next great IAHCSMM scholarship challenge. Do you have what it takes to be a star? We’re searching for the next SPD Reprocessing Star. Tell us by entering the SPD Reprocessing Star scholarship challenge. Explain your recipe for success in your SPD, how the ingredients interact with one another, and your favorite method of cooking everything to assist your colleagues and ensure patient safety.

Sterile Processing Tech Gone Sales Rep: How to Ease Your Way into the Role of Vendor Representative Starting Today by Rebecca Kinney
“I hear medical sales makes a lot of money; I want to do that.”

This is a common phrase frequently brought up by sterile processing (SP) technicians. Out of genuine curiosity, I ask them why and, in a snap response, they say they want to be a vendor rep because reps get paid well and they want to be in more surgeries. It’s sometimes followed by “How do I do that?” but typically they leave it at a plain statement, assume it’s unachievable, and bustle onto wrapping sets.

Johnson & Johnson submits data to FDA to support COVID-19 booster shot
Johnson & Johnson has submitted data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to support use of a booster shot of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in individuals 18 years of age and older.

Researchers demonstrate vaccination approach in mice that could prevent future coronavirus outbreaks
Researchers in Japan have developed a vaccination strategy in mice that promotes the production of antibodies that can neutralize not only SARS-CoV-2 but a broad range of other coronaviruses as well. If successfully translated to humans, the approach could lead to the development of a next-generation vaccine capable of preventing future coronavirus pandemics.

C. difficile is everywhere, even on the bottom of your shoes
Clostridium difficile or C. diff—a bacteria that causes inflammation of the colon and severe diarrhea—is widely prevalent in non-healthcare settings in the United States and around the world, according to University of Houston researchers who presented at Infectious Disease Society of America IDWeek.

Alzheimer’s and COVID-19 share a genetic risk factor
An anti-viral gene that impacts the risk of both Alzheimer’s disease and severe Covid-19 has been identified by a University College London-led research team.

Register now for AAMI virtual conference
The AAMI/FDA/BSI International Conference on Medical Device Standards and Regulation will be held virtually on October 18–20, 2021, with expanded program sessions. The conference offers many sessions covering digital health, in vitro diagnostic standards and regulations, quality systems, risk management, regulatory standards harmonization, emerging technologies, and much more.

Beyond Clean Season 14
Juanita Burrell joins Beyond Clean for Season 14, Episode 2 of “Sterile Storage Wars.” Juanita is the manager of sterile processing for Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, and she shares her story of transitioning from a cramped, challenged storage space to a dream sterile processing department.

 

Issue 38 – October 5, 2021

SPD Reprocessing Star scholarship challenge
We have been busy in our kitchen cooking up the next great IAHCSMM scholarship challenge. Do you have what it takes to be a star? We’re searching for the next SPD Reprocessing Star. Tell us by entering the SPD Reprocessing Star scholarship challenge. Explain your recipe for success in your SPD, how the ingredients interact with one another, and your favorite method of cooking everything to assist your colleagues and ensure patient safety.

How to Master the Art of Recordkeeping by Mary Olivera
Imagine starting a position at a new hospital only to discover that your department is in disarray. There are issues with the equipment: sterilizers beyond their useful life cycle and a broken washer, to name a few. The department recordkeeping is entirely manual and there are stacks of records that need to be organized and catalogued. Many of the records are illegible, incomplete, and some of the required monitoring is not being done. To make things worse, you’re told that the surveyors may arrive at any moment. Given the challenging circumstances, what can you do to regain control and get your department ready for the accreditation survey?

Experimental Merck pill could prevent COVID-19 deaths
Merck & Co has developed an experimental antiviral pill that could reduce the chances of those who contract COVID-19 by half. Merck and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics will seek emergency use authorization for the drug molnupiravir.

Pfizer and BioNTech submit data to FDA for COVID-19 vaccines in 5- to 12-year-olds
Pfizer and BioNTech SE have submitted data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from the Phase 2/3 trial of their COVID-19 vaccine in children 5 to <12 years of age.

AI-driven dynamic face mask adapts to exercise, pollution levels
During the coronavirus pandemic, many people have grown accustomed to wearing face masks to protect themselves and others, but that doesn’t mean the masks are always comfortable—especially during exercise. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Nano have developed a dynamic respirator that modulates its pore size in response to changing conditions, such as exercise or air pollution levels, allowing the wearer to breathe easier when the highest levels of filtration are not required.

Register now for AAMI virtual conference
The AAMI/FDA/BSI International Conference on Medical Device Standards and Regulation will be held virtually on October 18–20, 2021, with expanded program sessions. The conference offers many sessions covering digital health, in vitro diagnostic standards and regulations, quality systems, risk management, regulatory standards harmonization, emerging technologies, and much more.

2021 IAHCSMM Conference & Expo
Due to pandemic-related developments, IAHCSMM has canceled the in-person Conference & Expo in Columbus, Ohio. From the beginning of the planning stages for this conference, IAHCSMM has planned a virtual conference option, and that will still take place from October 15–28 as planned.

Beyond Clean kicks off Season 14
To kick off Season 14, the folks at Beyond Clean sat down with Randalyn Walters, sterile processing advocate and corporate educator with SpecialtyCare. Randalyn provides insights as an educator on one of the most important rooms in sterile processing departments.