Shining a light on sterile processing
Studies have shown that germs and pathogens can live anywhere. While disinfecting patient rooms and ORs is paramount, attention should also be given to other areas of the hospital, including sterile processing.
“Sterile processing is the first link in the infection prevention chain. Improperly or inadequately cleaned, disinfected and sterilized instruments can introduce pathogens into the operating room, increasing the risk of a patient acquiring a surgical-site infection (SSI),” said Alice Brewer, MPH, CIC, director of Clinical Affairs for Tru-D SmartUVC.
Brewer said that just as with patient rooms and ORs, the key to a successful infection prevention program, especially during a pandemic or outbreak, is to adhere to an integrated, layered approach. Combining stringent hand-washing, manual cleaning and antibiotic stewardship along with enhanced disinfection technologies—such as UVC disinfection—can help provide the cleanest environment possible.
Melissa G. Morgan, MSN, RN, CIC, CSPDT, FAPIC, Senior System-wide Director for Infection Prevention & Sterile Processing for Cone Health, was aware of gaps in terminal cleaning for the Sterile Processing Department. She presented a business case to executive leadership who approved the funds following a successful pilot. Moses H. Cone purchased the Tru-D robot following the trial and currently uses the device in Sterile Processing, ensuring one of the most contaminated areas of the hospital is as clean and germ-free as possible.