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  • ASP, AmeriCares & ASP Partner To Fight Infection in Tanzania, January 4, 2012
    In August 2011 AmeriCares delivered a shipment of CIDEX® Activated Dialdehyde Solution and trays to Bugando Medical Centre (BMC), a teaching and referral facility that serves a catchment area of 14 million people in Mwanza, Tanzania. The donation was the first shipment of a 3-year commitment from ASP to provide CIDEX® Activated Dialdehyde Solution and trays in support of AmeriCares Health Worker Safety Initiative.
  • Infection Control Today, “Partnership for Patients Initiative to Improve Hospital Care,” December 21, 2011
    This article reports that as part of its Partnership for Patients initiative, the HHS has announced new resources and support to make healthcare safer by awarding $218 million to 26 state, regional, national or hospital system organizations, called Hospital Engagement Networks. These organizations will help identify solutions already working to reduce healthcare-acquired conditions, and work to spread them to other hospitals and healthcare providers. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius notes, “The Partnership for Patients is helping the nation’s finest health systems share their knowledge and resources to make sure every hospital knows how to provide all of its patients with the highest quality care.” The Hospital Engagement Networks will be funded with $500 million from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center, which was established by the Affordable Care Act. The of the Hospital Engagement Networks will be closely monitored by CMS to ensure that they are improving patient safety. The article also notes that in addition to the Hospital Engagement Contract awards, HHS has awarded three other contracts to assist in achieving the Partnership for Patients’ goals: the National Content Developer Contractor, the Beneficiary and Medical Professional Engagement Contractor, and the Evaluation Contractor.
  • Infection Control Today, “AAMI to Offer Webinar on Best Practices for Rigid Sterilization Containers,” December 20, 2011
    This article reports that the AAMI will hold a webinar on February 7, 2012, titled: “Rigid Sterilization Containers: Best Practices.” The speaker, Martha L. Young, BS, MS, CSPDT, will describe best practices for cleaning, inspecting, packaging, preparation, loading, unloading, reasons for sterilization process failure, storage, and transportation of medical devices using rigid sterilization containers; describe the AAMI prepurchase evaluation of rigid sterilization containers; and discuss the difference between validation and verification and how that relates to the use of rigid sterilization containers.
  • EndoNurse, “Demand for Infection-Prevention Products to Rise 51% Annually,” December 20, 2011
    This is continued coverage of the “U.S. Infection Prevention Products & Services Market” report, which reveals that the U.S. demand for infection prevention products and services is forecasted to increase 5.1 percent annually to $21.4 billion in 2015. According to the report, efforts by medical providers to reduce the incidence and mortality of HAIs will underlie growth. Hospitals and facilities are adopting stricter standards involving patient and staff hygiene and protection, facility cleaning and disinfection, device and instrument sterilization, and medical waste collection and disposal. The need for improved infection prevention strategies also extends to the life sciences sector. Stricter FDA standards for product quality control and quality assurance are forcing pharmaceutical and medical device producers to upgrade and expand sterilization and disinfection systems.
  • Infection Control Today, “AAMI, FDA to Hold Conference on Medical Device Standards and Regulation,” December 6, 2011
    This article reports that the 22nd annual AAMI/FDA International Conference on Medical Device Standards and Regulation will be held on March 22-21, 2012 in Herndon, Va. The article notes that the conference is sponsored jointly by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and provides industry professionals with up-to-date, detailed information about the latest standards and regulatory initiatives about medical devices in both the U.S. and abroad.
  • Infection Control Today, “AAMI to Offer Webinar on Sterile Processing Accreditation Surveys,” December 7, 2011
    This is a brief from the AAMI noting that they will offer a webinar on how to prepare for a sterile processing accreditation survey featuring Rose E. Seavey, RN, MBA, CNOR, CRCST, CSPDT, president/CEO of Seavey Healthcare Consulting LLC, on January 10, 2012. The article notes that the webinar will explore the requirements related to sterile processing outlined by accreditation organizations such as the Joint Commission and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), focusing specifically on sterile processing standards and evidence-based guidelines, survey preparation and risk-reduction tools. Additionally, the webinar will identify current resources available to help healthcare facilities prepare for successful accreditation surveys. The registration fee for the webinar is $79 for AAMI members and $99 for non-members.
  • Becker’s ASC Review, “Important Considerations: Cleaning, Disinfection and Sterilization in the Ambulatory Setting,” December 1, 2011
    This article highlights the importance of clean¬ing, disinfection and sterilization of instruments and medical equipment in ambulatory settings in order to avoid patient harm. The article outlines guidelines and important considerations to take into account for cleaning, high-level disinfection, sterilization and storage of medical supplies and also includes a “test your knowledge” true-or-false quiz on the information outlined in the article.
  • Healthcare Purchasing News, “Smart planning drives SPD area ‘dream-worthy’ redesign efforts,” December 2011
    This article highlights the factors that SPD managers should consider when embarking upon a departmental redesign and features commentary from industry experts. Barbara Trattler, RN, MPA, CNOR, CNA, director of clinical education at ASP, notes that when embarking on a redesign, every facility should focus on how they can design the department in a way that will optimize staff performance in a productive and efficient way. She notes that updating current processes is one way facilities can streamline their workflow and improve efficiency and productivity. One way that ASP helps with this is with SteriTite® containers that can be used with the STERRAD system to package instruments, which eliminate the need for wrapping and allow devices for a single procedure to be packaged together. Trattler also notes, “Facilities make large investments in their instrumentation and technology, so when redesigning their SPD they should aim for a design that maximizes their workflow process through automation and an innovative sterilization modality.”
  • Healthcare Purchasing News, “2011 Endoscope Care Guide,” November 2011
    This “Endoscope Care Guide” features information on the cleaning, disinfecting, sterilizing and repairing all types of flexible and rigid endoscopes thoroughly, efficiently and cost-effectively and highlights dangers from improper cleaning, repair and storage. The guide also features best practices for endoscope care from industry experts, including Carol K. Stevens, BSN, RN, CGRN, clinical education consultant at ASP. The EVOTECH® Endoscope Cleaner and Reprocessor is also noted in the guide.
  • Becker’s ASC Review, “Top 10 Facility Infection Prevention Program Component Updates I Would Perform Tomorrow,” November 21, 2011
    This article features Donna Nucci, RN, CIC, an infection prevention consultant, discussing the top 10 facility infection prevention program component updates that she would perform tomorrow. The updates Nucci highlights include: downloading, reviewing and implementing the CDC’s new guide for ambulatory centers; reviewing all infection prevention policies to ensure they reflect the newest standards of care and practice within the facility; providing competency training in infection control for all staff including physicians and place documentation in credentialing and education files; standardizing all preoperative SSI prevention measures to reflect the best practice of the surgeries performed; utilizing the newest updates provided by surgical organizations AORN and APIC; providing all staff with specific training at hire and annually concerning safe injection practices, monitoring hand hygiene compliance monthly and providing specific interventions to improve hand hygiene according the World health Organization and the Joint Commission hand hygiene program recommendations; facilitating certification for all reprocessing staff; standardizing all environmental cleaning process based on AORN standards; providing the designated infection control person with formalized training through APIC; and formulating the facility infection prevention risk assessment, infection surveillance program and exposure control plan.
  • Infection Control Today, “Awards to Recognize Best Practices in Reducing and Eliminating HAIs,” November 18, 2011
    This article announces that applications are now being accepted for the second annual HHS and CCSC Awards, a joint effort between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, Office of Healthcare Quality (HHS) and the Critical Care Societies Collaborative (CCSC). The awards recognize teams of critical care professionals and healthcare institutions that show excellence, leadership and notable, sustained improvements in preventing HAIs, specifically infections of critically ill patients, and teams of critical care professionals and healthcare institutions are encouraged to submit their best practices. Complete details can be found on ACN’s award site at
  • Becker’s ASC Review, “4 Strategies for Discouraging Shortcuts in Infection Control,” November 15, 2011
    This article discusses the challenges ambulatory surgery centers face when it comes to maintaining proper infection control practices without decreasing productivity or efficiency. Cathy Rocco, RN, MSN, CNOR, senior clinical education consultant for ASP, and Amesh Adalja MD, infectious disease physician and clinical assistant professor in the department of critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, are featured in the article discussing four strategies for discouraging infection control shortcuts among staff and physicians. Cathy Rocco notes education of physicians and staff as a key strategy in preventing shortcuts in infection control, and notes: “At ASP, we have clinical education specialists like myself to do just that.” Other strategies discussed in the article include: making infection control tools available, observing and reporting infection control violations and empowering patients.
  • Becker’s ASC Review, “10 Overlooked Ways to Cut Costs in an ASC,” November 14, 2011
    This article outlines the ten often overlooked cost-cutting measures ASCs should consider. These tips were developed by several ASC experts, including Joseph Zasa, JD, managing and founding partner of ASD Management; Susan Curtis, RN, BSN, CASC and the administrator at the Surgical Center for Excellence; and Richard McGill, administrator at Shelby Baptist ASC. Experts suggest everything from using a pre-packaged mixture of supplies for specialty procedures and buying refurbished capital equipment to negotiating with vendors and reprocessing single-use devices. The piece notes that reprocessing a single-use device often costs half as much as purchasing the device new, and certain devices can be reprocessed more than once. Other cost-reducing suggestions are training staff to service equipment, removing unnecessary insurance coverage and paying closer attention to employee healthcare plans.
  • EndoNurse, “Lake Forest Endoscopy: Small and Busy,” November 14, 2011
    This article highlights the success of the endoscopy team at Lake Forest Hospital in Lake Forest, Illinois. Though very small, Lake Forest handles approximately 5,550 GI cases a year and provides a variety of services including colonoscopy, EGD, ERCP and Bravo PH monitoring. The team attributes much of its success to the hospital’s state-of-the-art equipment.
  • Healthcare Purchasing News, “ECRI Institute announces its Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2012,” November 10, 2011
    This article reports that the ECRI Institute has published its fifth annual list of the top 10 health technology hazards, designed to raise awareness of the potential dangers associated with the use of medical devices and systems. Each of the hazards on the list met one or more of the following criteria: it resulted in an injury or death, it has occurred frequently, it can affect a large number of individuals and/or it has had a high profile or widespread news coverage. Cross-contamination from flexible endoscopes was number four on the list, and the other hazards on the top five include: alarm hazards, exposure hazards from radiation therapy and computed tomography, medication administration errors using infusion pumps and inattention to change management for medical device connectivity. The article also notes that there had to be clear steps that hospital can take to minimize the risks from each of the hazards in order to make the list, and the report also includes that recommendations on how to address the risks. In addition, the ECRI has also developed a web-based survey in addition to the top 10 report, which helps hospitals easily assess their facility’s risk in each of the ten hazard areas listed.
  • Infection Control Today, “Special Report: Area Decontamination Technology – Vaporized Hydrogen Peroxide and Germicidal UV Light,” November 2011
    This special supplement on area decontamination technology highlights the imperative for environmental hygiene and gives an overview of VHP and germicidal UV light. The supplement also includes an appendix featuring an informational questionnaire, designed to be used as an informational comparison tool for healthcare institutions evaluating the purchase of an area decontamination technology. GLOSAIR™ Healthcare Environmental Decontamination System is featured in the appendix of the supplement, along with other UV and hydrogen peroxide device manufacturers.
  • SurgiStrategies, “AHRQ Awards $34 Million to Fight Against Healthcare-Associated Infections”, November 7, 2011
    This article reports that AHRQ announced that it has awarded $34 million in fiscal year 2011 for grants and contracts to hospitals, academic medical institutions, and healthcare research organizations to expand the fight against HAIs. The article notes that HAIs can affect 1 in 20 patients at any point in time, and the projects funded by these contracts and grants help attain the goals of the HHS’ Partnership for Patients Initiative, which aims for safer patient care, eliminating unnecessary return visits to the hospital and lowering the cost of care. Projects awarded these grants include efforts to develop, test and spread the use of new modules of the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP). CUSP is a proven method to prevent and reduce HAIs resulting from central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs), and these new modules target catheter-associated urinary tract infections, surgical site infections and ventilator-associated pneumonia. The article also notes that other newly funded projects include: research on ways of reducing infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile, the use of health care facility design to reduce HAIs and alignment of work system factors to maximize and sustain successful HAI reduction efforts.
  • ASP, Replay for Ambulatory Surgery Centers Is Now Available, Ocotber 28, 2011
    Webinar 8 - Best of Both Worlds For Your ASC: Increasing Productivity and Raising Standards in Sterilization Sterilization of surgical equipment is essential to ensuring your surgery center is providing the highest standard of care.
  • EndoNurse, “Automated Endoscope Cleaning and Reprocessing,” October 21, 2011
    This bylined article, written by Carol Stevens, BSN, RN, CGRN, outlines the problems with manual cleaning, including the fact that failure to perform good manual cleaning can result in inadequate disinfection and the need for consistent adherence to complex protocol. In addition, the article notes that flexible endoscope reprocessing has a narrow margin of safety and there is potential for repetitive strain injuries to healthcare workers. The article reports that the EVOTECH® ECR provides an alternative to manual cleaning through automated cleaning and reprocessing. The benefits of automated cleaning and reprocessing are highlighted, including improved efficiency of cleaning, which allows facilities to utilize staff resources in other ways, reduce reprocessing-associated occupational health issues, and benefit busy facilities where limited availability of reprocessed instruments can delay procedures. In addition, the article states that the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates (SGNA) has noted that automated, brushless washing of endoscope channels represents a potentially significant advancement in the cleaning of endoscopes, and Dr. Alfa’s study results are also outlined, which further demonstrate how an automated process can provide superior cleaning.
  • News from SGNA, “News Room: Important Updates from SGNA,” October 20, 2011
    This brief mentions that ASP has launched several resources and programs to support healthcare professionals, as part of IIPW. The brief also includes a link to the full press release and to watch the PHM.
  • Infection Control Today, “National Journal and APIC Host Policy Summit on Infection Prevention Best Practices,” October 19, 2011
    This article reports that the National Journal LIVE and APIC are hosting a summit today in honor of IIPW. The summit, titled, “Spreading Success: Encouraging Best Practices in Infection Prevention,” will examine the role of infection preventionists. The summit will be attended by more 200 healthcare professionals, government officials, policy makers and patient advocates and will include an address on how government agencies are helping to combat HAIs from keynote speaker, Don Wright, MD, MPH, deputy assistant secretary for Healthcare Quality, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A recording of the summit will be available immediately following the event at:
  •  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Health Care-Associated Infections Declined in 2010,” October 19, 2011
    This is a press release from the CDC announcing that the rates for four common HAIs declined in 2010. The data was submitted by hospitals to the National Healthcare Safety Network, the CDC’s health care infection monitoring system, and revealed: 33 percent reduction in central line-associated bloodstream infections, a 7 percent reduction in catheter-associated urinary tract infections, a 10 percent reduction in surgical site infections and an 18 percent reduction in health care-associated invasive MRSA infections for 2010. The CDC also reports in the release that 2010 saw an improvement in adherence to infection prevention measures. The release includes commentary from Denise Cardo, M.D., director of CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, who states: “These successes reflect investments not only in hospital practices, but in our national and state public health capacity. Preventing infections in health care saves lives and reduces health care costs.” In addition, the release reports that the CDC supports the Partnership for Patients initiative, which is focused on protecting patients in health care facilities through the prevention of HAIs. Press release pickup appeared in Infection Control Today.
  • Bloomberg Businessweek, “October 19, Common Hospital-Acquired Infections Fell Last Year, U.S. Says,” October 19, 2011
    This article reports on the CDC’s announcement that rates for four common HAI declined in 2010, due to increased prevention efforts from health-care workers. The article calls out key data points from the CDC’s release and notes that hospitals are on track to reduce MRSA infections by 50 percent by the end of 2013, in line with the CDC’s goal. The release also includes commentary from Thomas R. Frieden, director of the CDC, who notes, “Hospitals continue to make impressive progress in driving down certain infections in intensive care units through implementation of CDC prevention strategies.” Coverage also appeared in Healthcare Purchasing News.
  • Infection Control Today, “Public Reporting in Reducing ICU Infections: Leapfrog Group Responds to CDC Infection Report,” October 19, 2011
    This article outlines the Leapfrog Group’s response to the CDC Infection Report. Leapfrog points to the importance of transparency and publicly reporting hospital performance on important safety measures. Since 2009, as a part of their campaign for transparency and hospital safety and quality, Leapfrog has been collecting and publicly reporting data for nearly 1,000 hospitals. Through its annual survey, Leapfrog asks hospitals to report their rates of central-line associated blood stream infections utilizing the same measure as the CDC/NHSN.
  • Infection Control Today, “ASP Launches Innovative Resources and Programs to Support Healthcare Professionals,” October 17, 2011
    This article reports on the new online resources and online campaign that ASP has launched in conjunction with International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW). One of the resources is a Public Health Message (PHM) that features infection prevention experts discussing the prevention of HAIs. ASP has also launched the Infection Prevention Stars online campaign, which showcases healthcare professionals whose infection prevention efforts have made a difference in improving patient outcomes on ASP’s Facebook page, as well as the homepage and on Twitter. In addition, the article reports that ASP has recently launched a professional education website where healthcare professionals can access research, standards and regulations online in one centralized location.
  • Infection Control Today, HAI Market to Hit More Than $30 Billion, October 14, 2011
    This article reports that according to a new report published in August 2011 by, the healthcare-acquired infection (HAI) control market is expected to be worth over $30 billion. The report, titled “Healthcare-Acquired Infection: Devices, Pharmaceuticals, and Environmental Products,” states that the HAI market was worth just $19 billion last year and notes that the market has grown due to the increase in the number of patients developing infections. In addition, infection control devices and products is reported to be the largest HAI market segment, worth $8.3 billion in 2010; it is forecast to achieve $10.3 billion by 2011 and $18.3 billion by 2016. “HAI Market to Hit More Than $30 Billion,”
  • SurgiStrategies, “Certification is Key in Preventing Infections,” October 14, 2011
    As part of International Infection Prevention Week, the CBIC will be honoring individuals certified in infection prevention and control with Certified Infection Preventionist Day on Thursday, October 20. The CIC certification, administered by CBIC and held by over 4,500 infection prevention and control professionals working in hospitals, identifies healthcare professionals who have shown a mastery of knowledge in infection prevention and control.
  • ASP, ASP Recognizes 25TH Annual International Infection Prevention Week In Quest To Protect Lives Against Infection, October 17, 2011
    In conjunction with the 25th annual International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW), announced the launch of several new online resources and a campaign to honor healthcare professionals nationwide. IIPW, which is taking place October 16 – 22, 2011, highlights the critically important work of infection preventionists around the globe.
  • AORN News, “FDA Report Addresses Science Used to Approve Medical Devices,” October 11, 2011
    This article reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) released a report on Oct. 3 entitled, “Regulatory Science in FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health: A Vital Framework for Protecting and Promoting Public Health.” The report, which highlights scientific activities that support the medical device industry and product development, is intended to give clinicians, researchers, patient groups and the medical device industry an idea of the scope of the scientific activities at CDRH and how they support device innovation and protect public health.
  • Infection Control Today, “California Hospitals Launch Statewide Patient Safety Campaign,” October 6, 2011
    This article announces that the California Hospital Association (CHA) has launched a statewide patient safety awareness campaign titled "Caring is Our Calling." Their mission is safe, high-quality care for all patients. The campaign will feature a statewide television ad (also available in Spanish), a web-based video, patient safety issue briefs, and digital and social media activities as well as highlight a number of hospital initiatives aimed at reducing hospital-acquired conditions.
  • Health Facilities Management, “Ambulatory Cleaning - Defining the Qualifications for Proper Environmental Services Operations,” October 2011
    This article reports that the CDC’s Melissa Schaefer, M.D., unveiled the notable findings from state surveyors who assessed compliance with the CDC/CMS infection control audit tool in ASCs at the 2011 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) Annual Conference in Baltimore. One of the most persistent problems cited was environmental cleaning lapses due to communication breakdowns between nursing and environmental services (ES) staff. It’s noted that ES professionals are the front-line infection preventionists in ASCs and must be judged by the highest standards when hired or outsourced.
  • Laboratory Talk, "HPV Process Reduces Infection Rate in Hospital, ” October 5, 2011
    In this article, Bioquell UK reports that Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection has been significantly reduced at Hospitals Trust in Gloucestershire, United Kingdom following the introduction of hydrogen peroxide vapor (HPV) bio-decontamination. The article notes that three years ago, Gloucestershire Hospitals implemented a series of infection control procedures, including the introduction of cohort wards, antibiotic control, empirical treatment and Bioquell's HPV bio-decontamination. As a result, they achieved a sixty-five percent reduction in C. diff infection rates. Over the three-year period, 2,763 areas were decontaminated using HPV.
  • Infection Control Today, “APIC Announces Theme of 2011 International Infection Prevention Week," October 4, 2011
    This article reports that the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) has announced the theme for the 25th anniversary of International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW) is “infection prevention is everyone’s business.” The article notes almost half of U.S. states and over 30 associations and societies have signed on to support IIPW this year, which will feature a policy summit hosted by APIC and the National Journal on October 19 in Washington, DC. The summit will be webcast live and archived and will feature a panel discussion focusing on the resources needed to eliminate preventable infections, ways healthcare reform efforts can improve outcomes for patients and the important role of infection preventionists. Coverage also appeared in Healthcare Purchasing News.
  • Infection Control Today, “APIC and AHE Partner on ‘Clean Spaces, Healthy Patients’ Initiative,” September 27, 2011
    This is coverage of the announcement from APIC and AHE highlighting their new educational campaign, “Clean Spaces, Healthy Patients: Leaders in Infection Prevention and Environmental Services working together for better patient outcomes,” created to help infection prevention (IP) and environmental services (EVS) professionals combat HAIs through educational resources, training materials and other solutions. Two thousand members of APIC and AHE were surveyed to determine the focus of the campaign. The survey results, which were presented at the AHE 2011 Annual Conference, revealed that many IP and EVS professionals find it difficult to locate useful resources about proper cleaning and disinfection and feel that educational resources should be directed to executives as well as physicians. In addition, many of those surveyed believe that staff could be better educated about their role in the cleaning and disinfection process and are interested in hearing how other facilities have created successful IP-EVS partnerships. The article notes that these results indicate a need for additional education and resources to facilitate the successful prevention of HAIs.
  • Healthcare Purchasing News, “Enhanced Products, Practices Help SPD Pros Hurdle Sterilization Challenges,” October 2011
    This article reports on the importance of sterility assurance in order to prevent sterilization-related mishaps. The article features insight and commentary from several industry experts, including Janet Moran, RN, MBA, CNOR, senior clinical education consultant for ASP. Furthermore, the article states that vendor education is essential for promoting proper and consistent product use. The article mentions ASP’s STERRAD NX System tutorial series, which discusses a variety of topics related to sterilization best practices, to which Janet Moran notes: “Given the importance of sterility assurance, we have dedicated one of the chapters to monitoring and documentation in order to assure sterility.” The article also includes expert tips for sterility assurance success, in which Janet Moran shares that all three quality monitors (physical, chemical and biological) should be observed when using a sterilizer to assure sterility and identify problems more easily.
  • Infection Control Today, “ASP Offers CE Program on Sterilization and Liquid Chemical Sterilant Processing at MTORS,” September 26, 2011
    This article outlines the CE program that Barbara Trattler will be conducting at the Managing Today’s OR Suite (MTORS) annual meeting. The session, titled “Sterilization and Liquid Chemical Sterilant Processing: What You Need to Know,” will provide information on sterilization, including the difference between sterilization and liquid chemical sterilant processing, how to assure sterility using biological and chemical indicators and a guideline review outlining the recommendations of the Joint Commission.
  • Becker’s ASC, “Advanced Sterilization Products Launches Education Website,” September 23, 2011
    This brief article reports that ASP has recently launched a new professional education website that provides access to current laws, regulations and policies related to low-temperature sterilization, high-level disinfection, environmental decontamination, and hand hygiene; recommendations, guidelines, suggested approaches and guiding principles; industry news, upcoming events and resources; and a "Ask Amber" section, where Amber Mitchell, ASP's professional education leader, will take questions submitted by readers.
  • Healthcare Purchasing News, “APIC and AHE Partner on ‘Clean Spaces, Healthy Patients’ Initiative,” September 27, 2011
    This article highlights APIC and AHE’s educational campaign titled, “Clean Spaces, Healthy Patients: Leaders in Infection Prevention and Environmental Services working together for better patient outcomes,” created to help infection prevention and environmental services professionals combat HAIs. Two thousand members of APIC and AHE were surveyed to determine the focus of the campaign. The survey results were presented at the AHE 2011 Annual Conference and indicate a need for additional education and resources to facilitate successful prevention of HAIs.
  • ASP, Introducing ASP’s New Online Professional Education Resource, September 15, 2011
    Looking for easy access to scientific evidence, practice guidance, government regulations and standards for protecting healthcare patients and workers against infection? You can find all the information you need to make evidence-based decisions about your infection prevention practices on the new Professional Education site!
  • Infection Control Today, “Contagion Sparks Discussion About Pandemic Preparedness,” September 14, 2011
    This brief article reports on the discussion that has sparked around the film “Contagion,” which depicts the immense damage that could result from a global disease outbreak. The article encourages readers to comment on whether the scenario depicted in the film could actually happen and notes that the CDC Foundation’s website reflects on the issues raised in the film.
  • Infection Control Today, “The Role of Sterile Processing in Infection Prevention,” September 14, 2011
    This article announces an on-demand webinar available on Infection Control Today and featuring Cynthia Spry, RN, MSN, MA, CNOR, an independent clinical consultant recently retired from ASP, discussing the current focus on infection prevention. The article notes that the session describes the difficulty in quantifying the contributions of sterile processing to infection prevention and explores the ways that sterile processing can contribute to infection prevention.
  • Becker’s ASC, “Infection Prevention in the Outpatient Setting: Q&A With CDC's Dr. Melissa Schaefer,” August 1, 2011
    This is a question & answer with Dr. Melissa Schaefer of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discussing the recently released Guide to Infection Prevention for Outpatient Settings: Minimum Expectations for Safe Care. Dr. Schaefer explains that the guide was developed as a way for the CDC to package their existing guidelines and make them easily available to outpatient settings and includes an infection prevention checklist, in order to ensure patents are receiving safe care. Dr. Schaefer also notes that the Guide is not just aimed at ambulatory surgery centers, but all outpatient facilities.
  • EndoNurse, “Free Webinar on Endoscope Reprocessing,” September 8, 2011
    This brief article announces Advanced Sterilization Products’ free webinar, “Transitioning our Endoscope Reprocessing to a Higher Standard of Care.” The brief notes that the webinar features ProMedica St. Luke’s Hospital’s transition story from the STERIS® System 1 (SS1) to the EVOTECH® Endoscope Cleaner and Reprocessor, and includes a link to the webinar registration page.
  • SurgiStrategies, “Best Practices in Environmental Services,” September 7, 2011
    The article discusses various topics, including the importance of cleaning validation in healthcare settings (specifically in the OR), what healthcare professionals should look for when evaluating environmental hygiene products and systems, the types of clinical education each company offers, best practices for maintaining a superior environmental service department, the importance of working closely with an infection prevention department, the business case for the purchase of environmental hygiene products and systems.
  • Laboratory Talk, “White Paper Discusses Role of Bio-decontamination,” September 6, 2011
    This article reports that Bioquell has launched a white paper on the role and requirements of a modern bio-decontamination solution. The white paper discusses key areas that should be considered when seeking a solution and provides an illustration of the application of hydrogen-peroxide vapor bio-decontamination technology. The article notes that traditional methods of sterilization are difficult to employ in large, complex production areas, and use of controlled and monitored processes of decontamination is essential. The paper also notes that hydrogen-peroxide vapor allows for the maintenance of clean-room integrity, the protection of workforce and the protection of product through integrated material-transfer solutions, and represents a rapid, integratable technique for decontaminating Biotech facilities.
  • Outpatient Surgery, “ASC Leader to Testify in Congress Friday,” September 8, 2011
    This article reports that Michael Guarino, a board member of the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, will testify before the congressional Ways and Means Health Subcommittee on September 9 about how the changes in reimbursement are putting independent surgery centers in danger. He will focus on the consequences stemming from the consolidation in the healthcare marketplace and the disparity between what surgery centers and hospital outpatient departments are paid for performing the same procedures. The article also notes that the testimony can be viewed live at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time, via the House Ways and Means Committee's website, and that Guarino is scheduled to discuss the issues at Outpatient Surgery Magazine's OR Excellence conference next month.
  • Infection Control Today, “AAMI Announces Reprocessing Summit Agenda,” September 6, 2011
    This brief article reports that The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) has announced the agenda for their Medical Device Reprocessing Summit, which it is co-hosting with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Topics covered at the summit will include: the definition of “clean,” design issues with reusable medical devices, standards, competency requirements for staff, human factors, as well as other topics. The summit will take place on October 11-12.
  • Infection Control Today, “Revised Standard Addresses Sterility Challenge for Manufacturers,” August 9, 2011
    This article reports that the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) has revised its ST67 standard, allowing manufacturers to select a sterility assurance level (SAL) of 10-5, 10-4 or 10-3 for medical devices that are sensitive to 10-6 sterilization processes, based on a risk assessment. However, the revised standard requires the use of the most rigorous SAL that the product can withstand, as well as a risk assessment in order to select an alternate SAL.

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