Regulatory compliance is and should always be a priority for healthcare facilities and their teams. However, regulation changes often so it can be hard to stay on top of all the changes you need to make to ensure that your facility stays in good standing. That’s why we’re outlining a few of the changes that resulted from the AAMI ST79:2017 to help you quickly address what changes you need to make to bring your team and processes up to date.

While there is a lot to digest in AAMI ST79, one topic especially caught our eye—the quality control cleaning verification update.

We want to know: How often are you testing your mechanical cleaning equipment like your automated washers or ultrasonic equipment to verify that they are working correctly and cleaning instruments thoroughly? 

With this key change related to the frequency of routinely monitoring your equipment, it is now recommended that mechanical cleaning equipment be monitored DAILY (AAMI ST79, 7.6.4.5). Methods of verification should include:

  • Directly testing individual instruments for residual soils (ATP, protein, hemoglobin)
  • Employing a test device that is a consistent and repeatable challenge to the cleaning effectiveness of the equipment
  • Monitoring critical parameters to evaluate the performance of the mechanical cleaning equipment

It’s important to remember that all of these tests then need to be documented to show proof of your daily monitoring efforts and whether or not the tests passed or failed (AAMI ST79, 13.2). But daily result documentation can be cumbersome and add to an already overwhelming workload. By documenting wash tests in CensiTrac, you can not only eliminate the manual paper trail but also cut down on time spent documenting.

To make this whole process easier and less intrusive to the daily workload for everyone involved, AAMI ST97 also recommends that the automated washer printer be located on the clean side of the pass-through washers and that the printout be checked and initialed by the operators. By interfacing your automated washers with CensiTrac, the system will automatically capture all that documentation to give you an all-inclusive electronic record of your automated wash loads. All of this allows you to have a completely paperless record.

At the end of the day, investing in daily monitoring not only elevates the quality control of your cleaning verification process but it also helps your facility remain compliant and above reproach if infection situations arise.

The Cost of Staying Manual

The Joint Commission: Non-Compliance Findings & Safety Actions to Consider

74% of all ITLs in 2016 were related to improperly sterilized or HLD equipment

References
  • AAMI. Annex I: Development of a prepurchase evaluation protocol for rigid sterilization container systems.
  • All You Need to Know About Rigid Sterilization Containers. https://www.pfiedler.com/ce/1270/files/assets/common/downloads/All%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20Rigid%20Sterilization%20Containers.pdf
  • Don’t Get Weighed Down by Instrument Sets That Are Too Heavy. http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/465552O/just-say-no-dont-get-weighed-down-by-instrument-sets.pdf
  • V.Mueller Genesis™ Reusable Rigid Sterilization Container System Operator’s Manual. file:///C:/Users/swailsk/Downloads/SU_Genesis-Container-Operator-Manual_UG_EN.pdf
  • Healthcare Purchasing News AAMI ST79

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