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One Hospital’s Transition Story

Memorial University Medical Center’s Successful Transition to Terminal Sterilization

On March 4, Advanced Sterilization Products (ASP) hosted the sixth in a series of informational Webinars, “One Hospital’s Story of Transition,” to provide a firsthand account of how a transition to terminal sterilization can be done successfully. The Webinar featured Memorial University Medical Center (MUMC) in Savannah, Georgia, and its recent transition from the STERIS® System 1 (SS1) to the STERRAD® NX™ System. Members of the staff from the operating room and central sterile processing shared their personal experiences, highlighting the benefits of adopting a higher standard of care by transitioning to terminal sterilization with the STERRAD® NX™ System.

If you were unable to attend the live broadcast of the Webinar, an archive is now available for on-demand viewing at


  • Barbara Trattler, RN, MPA, CNOR, CNA
    Director, Clinical Education for ASP
  • Kathy Browne,
    Manager, Operating Room, MUMC
  • Aaron Badon
    Manager, Central Sterile Processing, MUMC
  • Selinthia McKine
    Core Technician, MUMC

One Hospital’s Story of Transition Key Take-Aways:

  • Kathy Browne, RN, O.R. manager for Memorial University Medical Center, discussed the success of the transition to terminal sterilization and stated, “I would recommend STERRAD® NX™ System for any institution. It has been a seamless transition for Memorial to go to STERRAD® NX™ System from the STERIS usage, and I feel it’s been a very good patient safety transition.”
  • Aaron Badon, central sterile processing manager for Memorial University Medical Center, noted the benefits of utilizing terminal sterilization in the O.R., saying, “My standard of care is to have sterilization across the board for all of my surgical patients, whether they be in the core or coming from my sterile processing department. I wanted to be able to provide patients with the same product that I can from downstairs, upstairs in the core when it’s needed quickly. If it’s a quick turnaround, it doesn’t matter. That’s what the STERRAD® NX™ System units do for me.”
  • Selinthia McKine, the lead core technician for Memorial University Medical Center, described her experience using the STERRAD® NX™ System stating, “With the STERRAD® NX™ Systems now in the O.R., we are more able to focus on the things we need to be ready for later in the day. We don’t have to be pulled away to rerun instruments because of the machine failures, and now can provide better patient care,” and she added, “I have a lot more confidence in the instrumentation being sterile, and I feel like I’m doing a much better job for the patients and not compromising them.”

Q&A Session:

Following are the most popular and pressing questions answered regarding the transition to terminal sterilization:

Q: If my facility has not yet replaced our SS1, is there still time to purchase and set up a STERRAD® NX™ System in time to meet the transition deadline?
A: Yes. ASP is doing everything it can to help customers transition to a new ASP technology solution within time to meet the August 2011 deadline mandated by the FDA. We have significantly ramped up production and are continuing to manage supply and demand to ensure our customers' sterilization and disinfection needs are met as quickly as possible.

In addition, we will develop and customize a delivery schedule for large orders. The sooner an order is received, the better we can anticipate and meet customer needs.

Q: I’ve heard the SS1E is being shipped without a biological indicator. What exactly is the role of the biological indicator?
A: That is correct. Steris does not have clearance for a biological indicator for the SS1E.
According to FDA guidance, the biological indicator, or BI, is used to test the effectiveness of the sterilization process by assessing the microbial lethality of the process. BIs are recommended for sterility assurance according to AAMI, AORN and the CDC.

The BI provides direct evidence that the sterilization process conditions are sufficient to kill spores, as well as a direct measure of sterilization lethality. When evaluating your SS1 alternatives it’s important to note that ASP offers sterility assurance with the STERRAD® CYCLESURE® 24 Biological Indicator (BI).

Q: Which instruments can be processed in the STERRAD® NX™ System?
A: Thousands of devices from key medical device manufacturers can be processed in the
STERRAD® NX™ System. Olympus, KARL STORZ, Richard Wolf and Gyrus ACMI have all announced certain flexible endoscopes that can be processed in the STERRAD® NX™ System.

We continue to work closely with device manufacturers and are adding to the list of approved devices on a regular basis. For example, we are excited to announce ALOKA intraoperative transducers, ConMed Linvatec Rigid Telescopes, Stryker camera heads and many more have been added to the list of devices that fall within STERRAD® System sterility claims and have been added to the STERRAD® Sterility Guide.

You can also consult the STERRAD® Sterility Guide, which is designed to provide STERRAD® System customers with a list of devices that fall within the cleared sterility claims. It is an easy-to-use, online tool that helps you quickly determine if a device can be sterilized in a STERRAD® System.

Q: Is the STERRAD® System just for sterilizing heat- and moisture-sensitive devices?
A: No. The STERRAD® System, which is a low-temperature hydrogen peroxide gas plasma system, has material and lumen claims that extend beyond heat- and moisture-sensitive devices.

The STERRAD® System can sterilize your medical devices safely and effectively, without the instrument damage associated with high-temperature steam sterilization. In fact, transitioning more of your sterilization from steam to a dry, low-temperature sterilization process can produce a measureable return on your sterilization investment. Based on three studies1,2,3, a typical hospital could save 33 percent annually on repairs – that’s approximately $18.65 every time a scope is processed.

Q: How quickly can the STERRAD® NX™ System reprocess instruments?

A: The STERRAD® NX™ System has a 28-minute cycle time to help ensure fast instrument turnaround. There is a standard 28-minute cycle time for most surgical instruments and also an advanced 38-minute cycle time for single-channel flexible endoscopes. For more detailed processing information, please refer to the literature piece, “What Can I Sterilize In The STERRAD® NX™ Sterilizer?”

In addition, the STERRAD® NX™ System can help you optimize your instrument flow by processing typical rigid scopes, bridges, sheaths, forceps and light cords required to perform a routine procedure in one container all at once. As previously noted, the materials and lumen claims of STERRAD® Systems extend beyond heat- and moisture-sensitive devices, which allows you to process many procedure sets together.

Q: How will the STERRAD® NX™ System work in my O.R.?
A: The STERRAD® NX™ System is a great fit for your O.R. and your patients because it offers terminal sterilization. That means when the instrument comes out of the system it’s sterile and ready to use right away or at a later date. In addition, the STERRAD® NX™ System is just one part of ASP’s O.R. Solution that will help you optimize sterilization in your operating room. The O.R. Solution is a comprehensive blend of technologies, processes and education designed to optimize sterilization within an operating room setting.

The STERRAD® Sterilization Systems produce a measurable return on your sterilization investment by reducing instrument repair costs, offering rapid cycles, reducing instrument inventories and enhancing safety.

Q: Why should I completely change systems when it seems easier to just move to an alternative model of our current system?
A: Instead of thinking of this change as a problem, it can be thought of as an opportunity for process improvements. If you were using a wet system, now you can consider options to upgrade to terminal sterilization.

Also, from an efficiency standpoint, with a device processed in a wet system, if the device is not used immediately, it must be completely re-processed, thereby incurring additional time and processing costs. With terminal sterilization, if the device is not used immediately, you can use it at a later point because it is wrapped and will maintain its sterility.

Q: Do you offer educational resources?
A: Yes, at ASP we have a number of tools to help you make this transition as smooth and easy as possible, including individualized and personalized support. When you call us about making the transition, we immediately assess your needs and recommend the best options for your facility. In addition to the actual equipment, we can assist you with training and education to help ensure that your facility operates with minimum downtime and maximum predictability.

Our highly skilled team of field service engineers, dedicated technical support staff, and licensed clinical professionals are available to answer your questions and to help ensure your facility operates efficiently at all times.

View the Webinar

If you were unable to attend the live broadcast of the Webinar, an archive is now available for on-demand viewing at

This Webinar is just one of the new resources and educational initiatives ASP has recently launched to help smooth the transition to SS1® alternatives. For more information about STERRAD® Systems and other ASP products, please visit our newly enhanced Web site at, which provides convenient, centralized access to the latest information from ASP. In addition, we have launched ASP’s Infection Prevention TV YouTube site, at, where you can find informational videos including the full archived presentations of ASP’s first five Webinar series installments. For the most up to the minute information from ASP, you can also follow us on Twitter at Also, please join us at the 2011 AORN Congress in Philadelphia, March 21-23 at Booth #1901.

For more information about these additional resources, please visit

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