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NewSplash Archive – September 2020

Issue 39 – 9/29

Rita the Reprocessor scholarship challenge
Our world is under attack and now is the time for sterile processing professionals to unite and end infection. Infection cannot be destroyed by a single person; it takes a team working harmoniously with a solitary vision. How did you adapt to disruptions in your SPD caused by COVID-19?

The Pursuit of Excellence: A Fusion of Quality and Process in Endoscope Reprocessing by Mary Olivera
No one likes to be caught off guard by a last-minute accreditation audit or survey, especially when tensions are high, resources and staff are stretched thin, and potential contaminants are myriad. But facilities can get out ahead of surveys and reviews with a commitment to regular, practical steps and established protocols and routines that can make readiness and quality second nature. This readiness has never been more important to a facility’s reputation and accreditation, and to patient safety and care.

Johnson & Johnson vaccine candidate shows promise in early trial
An experimental COVID-19 vaccine candidate from Johnson & Johnson produced a strong immune response with a single dose in an early-to-mid stage clinical trial. The vaccine, called Ad26.COV2.S, was tolerated as well at two different doses.

Wireless brain implant restores vision in blind
Scientists at Monash University in Australia have developed miniature, wireless electronic implants that sit on the surface of the brain and can restore vision. Many clinically blind people have damaged optic nerves, which prevents signals from being transmitted from the retina to the vision center in the brain.

NIST develops new method of 3D printing gels, soft materials
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a new method of 3D printing gels and other soft materials. This method has the potential to create complex structures with nanometer-scale precision.

Scientists kill cancer cells by “shutting the door” to the nucleus
Scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute have shown that blocking the construction of nuclear pores complexes—large channels that control the flow of materials in and out of the cell nucleus—shrank aggressive tumors in mice while leaving healthy cells unharmed. The study, published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, reveals a new Achilles heel for cancer that may lead to better treatments for deadly tumors such as melanoma, leukemia, and colorectal cancer.

Preregistration open for Virtual OR Excellence 2020
Preregister now for Virtual OR Excellence 2020 and get notified when registration opens. The virtual conference offers live programming and on-demand access for OR leaders in both hospital and ambulatory surgery settings.

Register now for the 2020 OR Manager Conference On Demand
OR Manager On Demand is an online conference that offers compelling case studies, best practices advice from peers, ask me anything sessions, inspiring keynote speakers, supply and manufacturing vendor exhibits, networking, and more in a virtual environment that attendees can access when and where they choose. The live broadcast of the conference is September 30 through October 2, and the on-demand replay is available from October 5 through November 30.

Beyond Clean rewind
The topic this week from Season 4 of Beyond Clean is reprocessing explant devices, something SPD technicians have likely encountered. Little has been written or discussed on the topic, so the hosts turned to Nancy Chobin, president of Sterile Processing University, to answer some of the most pressing questions related to reprocessing an implant device that has been removed from a patient.

 

Issue 38 – 9/22

“War is a contagion.”—Franklin D. Roosevelt
In 2020, a powerful new enemy rose to power and threatened the future of us all. This adversary is devoid of political, religious, social, cultural, or ideological positions or affiliations. It maims and kills indiscriminately and without conscience.

This menace caused global disruption to workforces, economies, and peoples’ lives. Many workers were furloughed, removing them from the front lines and leading departments to reorganize and regroup in battle. Sterile processing managers and technicians banded together like never before to combat this enemy on the modern-day battleground: the SPD. Technicians were now doing the jobs of many, both in the SPD and beyond. Many were dispatched to the OR, while others found themselves under a tent in a parking lot taking temperatures of those seeking answers.

Continued below…

Honoring Our Sterile Processing Heroes: Fly High This Sterile Processing Week, Oct. 11–17 by Julie E. Williamson
For decades, the second Sunday of every October has marked the first day of Sterile Processing Week, and like every year that came before it, this year calls for celebrating the vital contributions of our nation’s sterile processing (SP) professionals.

Although the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM) has long considered SP professionals as healthcare heroes—not unlike frontline caregivers and those from other healthcare disciplines—the association also knows that some facilities still don’t give them the acknowledgment and appreciation they deserve. Even worse, some SP managers don’t treat their hardworking teams to any fanfare, opting instead to let each day of the dedicated week tick off like any other.

 

…continued from above

“We shall defend our facility, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight in the ICU, we shall fight in the ER, we shall fight in the OR and in the SPD, we shall fight in decontam; we shall never surrender.”—Rita the Reprocessor
Those driving the war effort quickly realized they needed to give their workers a figure to rally around and improve morale—a motivational figure for those on the front lines. The allegorical Rita the Reprocessor was born, her likeness represented by a young sterile processing technician who answered the call to duty, doing whatever was needed, and mentoring her colleagues.

“Ritas,” as they were called, understood that they had a duty to do whatever was necessary to eradicate this evil from their facilities and maintain high standards of patient care and safety during war, rallying around the mantra “We Always Do It!”

To this day, Ritas and Roys everywhere represent strength, determination, precision, and valor.

Study shows the experimental drug AR-12 could be a promising COVID-19 treatment
A team of scientists from Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center has discovered that an experimental cancer drug called AR-12 inhibits the SARS-CoV-2 virus from infecting cells and replicating. Their findings were published online today in the journal Biochemical Pharmacology, and steps are now being taken to develop a clinical trial testing the novel oral treatment at VCU Health.

Researchers develop antibacterial graphene face masks
Researchers at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) have produced graphene masks with antibacterial properties. Initial testing also showed promising results in deactivating two species of coronaviruses.

Preregistration open for Virtual OR Excellence 2020
Preregister now for Virtual OR Excellence 2020 and get notified when registration opens. The virtual conference offers live programming and on-demand access for OR leaders in both hospital and ambulatory surgery settings.

Register now for the 2020 OR Manager Conference On Demand
OR Manager On Demand is an online conference that offers compelling case studies, best practices advice from peers, ask me anything sessions, inspiring keynote speakers, supply and manufacturing vendor exhibits, networking, and more in a virtual environment that attendees can access when and where they choose. The live broadcast of the conference is September 30 through October 2, and the on-demand replay is available from October 5 through November 30.

Beyond Clean rewind
This week’s episode from Season 4 features a conversation with Ted May to discuss the hidden history of ethylene oxide and the importance of this sterilization modality to the past and future of the global sterile processing industry.

 

Issue 37 – 9/15

As ERs and ICUs wage war on the COVID-19 world theater, your job on the home front is to keep the SPD humming to ensure no patients are harmed by dangerous infections. SP Week is coming. Click above for your chance to attend IAHCSMM 2021 in Columbus, Ohio.

It’s Common Sense: A Limiting Belief by Sarah B. Cruz
There is no such thing as common sense in central sterile services.

I have yet to meet any technician who was a born natural at incubating a biological control. I would love to meet that autoclave protégé that just knew their way around the control panel of a steam sterilizer. With that being said, why do we default to the phrase “it’s common sense” when the process doesn’t lead to the desired outcome? What does this phrase actually change or solve in the way the process was done? The answer is nothing. “It’s common sense” is a limiting belief that offers no real solution to problems and only serves as a way to preserve “how we’ve always done it.”

Smart contact lens combats eye deficiencies
Imec, a research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies and CMST (an imec-affiliated research group at Ghent University), together with their partners the Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Fundación Jiménez Díaz and Holst Centre (an open innovation initiative from imec and TNO), unveiled an artificial iris embedded in a smart contact lens. The iris aperture is tunable through concentric rings on an integrated liquid crystal display (LCD).

Expandable neurosurgical access platform received FDA approval
Minnetronix Medical has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for MindsEye Expandable Port for neurosurgical procedures. MindsEye Port is a minimally invasive, expandable port designed to treat stroke, cancer, and other conditions.

Electronic skin reacts to pain like human skin
Researchers at RMIT University in Australia have developed electronic artificial skin that reacts to pain like real skin, paving the way to better prosthetics, smarter robotics, and noninvasive alternatives to skin grafts.

Register now for the 2020 OR Manager Conference On Demand
OR Manager On Demand is an online conference that offers compelling case studies, best practices advice from peers, ask me anything sessions, inspiring keynote speakers, supply and manufacturing vendor exhibits, networking, and more in a virtual environment that attendees can access when and where they choose. The live broadcast of the conference is September 30 through October 2, and the on-demand replay is available from October 5 through November 30.

Mitigating risks of processing reusable medical devices in ambulatory care settings
Reusable device processing in ambulatory care often occurs at a local level and is commonly overseen by nonclinical managers. Current best practice standards and guidelines for device processing apply the same ambulatory care as they do for acute care settings.

OR Today presents reusable medical devices webinar
On Thursday, September 24, OR Today will host the Getting the Most out of Your Reusable Medical Devices webinar. The 60-minute webinar will break down the learning process for surgical instruments and issues that commonly occur with them.

Beyond Clean rewind
This week’s episode from Season 4 of Beyond Clean features international decontamination expert Pawel de Sternberg Stojalowski, who discusses the fundamentals of process challenge devices in the decontamination setting and why sometimes failure is a good thing.

 

Issue 36 – 9/8

As ERs and ICUs wage war on the COVID-19 world theater, your job on the home front is to keep the SPD humming to ensure no patients are harmed by dangerous infections. SP Week is coming. Click above for your chance to attend IAHCSMM 2021 in Columbus, Ohio.

Give an Inch, They’ll Take a Mile: How Compromising Kills Your Quality Culture (and How to Get It Back) by Hank Balch
“Just this one time can you hand-wash this so we can flash it?”
“Dr. Laio really needs it for her next case, even though it’s cracked.”
“We don’t have IFUs, but it should be fine in low temp.”

Opportunities to compromise our quality standards in sterile processing and endoscopy departments confront us on a daily basis. Sometimes the requests come directly from the mouths of our surgeons. Other times it comes in the form of pressure from surgical assistants and nurses trying to cover themselves for the next case. Often it shows up in conversations with vendor representatives who overslept, forgot about a case, or were simply dealt a bad logistical hand.

Researchers 3D print lifelike heart valve models
Researchers from the University of Minnesota, with support from Medtronic, have developed a groundbreaking process for multimaterial 3D printing of lifelike models of the heart’s aortic valve and the surrounding structures that mimic the exact look and feel of a real patient.

LG introduces personal wearable air purifier
LG Electronics (LG) introduced PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier at IFA 2020. As a global leader in clean air solutions, LG has created an entirely new category of wearable air purifier technology to deliver a new level of portable protection.

Roche to launch SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test in markets accepting CE Mark
Roche announced that it will launch a SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test in late September for markets accepting the CE Mark. Roche also intends to file for emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

CDC advises states to prepare for COVID-19 vaccine distribution
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is telling state public health officials to prepare to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine to high-risk groups by November 1. The timeline caused concern with some health officials who are concerned that vaccine approval could be based on politics instead of science.

Combination of experimental drugs slows progression of ALS
A six-month study of 137 patients with an aggressive form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) showed that patients who received daily doses of a two-drug cocktail scored higher on a standard measure of function. The experimental drugs, called AMX0035,  appeared to slow the decline in patients.

September is Sepsis Awareness Month
In 2011, Sepsis Alliance designated September as Sepsis Awareness Month. Every September they invite individuals, healthcare professionals, and organizations to help save lives by raising awareness of the leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals—sepsis.

Mitigating risks of processing reusable medical devices in ambulatory care settings
Reusable device processing in ambulatory care often occurs at a local level and is commonly overseen by nonclinical managers. Current best practice standards and guidelines for device processing apply the same ambulatory care as they do for acute care settings.

OR Today presents vendor management program webinar
On Thursday, September 10, OR Today will host the Vendor Management: A Historical Perspective of Chaos Coordination webinar. The 60-minute webinar will be presented by Will Kahn, vendor management facilitator at VCU Health.

Beyond Clean rewind
This week’s episode from Season 4 of Beyond Clean features a conversation with Bob Marrs, the nationally known clinical educator, consultant, and vice president of organizational development at Beyond Clean. The topic is tips for reigning in the chaos of loaner instrument tray decontamination.

 

Issue 35 – 9/1

The Nuts and Bolts of a Quality System: What Is This Machine and How Do I Know What to Expect of It? by Jonathan A. Wilder, Ph.D., Managing Director
“Uncontrolled variation is the enemy of quality.”—W. Edwards Deming

For more than 30 years, industry has been trying to improve the quality of their products and services, and when they meet certain criteria from independent auditors, throwing terms about like ISO 9000, ISO 9001, ISO 13485, cGMP, QSR, and more.

What do all of these mean in the context of sterile processing, what can be learned from these standards, and how do they apply to the nuts and bolts of a quality system?

Cashew shell compound appears to mend damaged nerves
In laboratory experiments, a chemical compound found in the shell of the cashew nut promotes the repair of myelin, a team from Vanderbilt University Medical Center reports today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Rapid, inexpensive COVID-19 test gets FDA authorization
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued emergency use authorization for the first rapid COVID-19 test that does not require special computer equipment to read results. Abbott Laboratories’ 15-minute BinaxNOW test will sell for $5.

FDA approves first surgical mask with full-face visibility
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the ClearMask, the first fully transparent FDA-approved surgical mask with full-face visibility. The transparent plastic barrier has an anti-fog coating and is available in two adjustable strap styles: EZ-Adjuster style or classic tie-on straps.

Nominations open for 2020 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety & Quality Awards
The Joint Commission announced that nominations are now being accepted for the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety & Quality Awards, presented by The Joint Commission and National Quality Forum. The annual awards recognize major achievements by individuals and organizations to improve patient safety and healthcare quality.

AORN hosting N95 mask decontamination virtual forum
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an international shortage of N95 respirators. To help address current shortages, AORN is hosting The Science Behind N95 Decontamination virtual forum.

Mitigating risks of processing reusable medical devices in ambulatory care settings
Reusable device processing in ambulatory care often occurs at a local level and is commonly overseen by nonclinical managers. Current best practice standards and guidelines for device processing apply the same ambulatory care as they do for acute care settings.

OR Today presents vendor management program webinar
On Thursday, September 10, OR Today will host the Vendor Management: A Historical Perspective of Chaos Coordination webinar. The 60-minute webinar will be presented by Will Kahn, vendor management facilitator at VCU Health.

Beyond Clean rewind
Your hospital can save tens of thousands of dollars by investing more resources in your SPD. This week’s rewind episode from Season 4 features a discussion with pediatric surgeon and industry advocate Dr. Peter Nichol. Dr. Nichol talks about the pivotal research he is spearheading to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing sterile processing.