Cabinet Peaks is Raising Sterilization Practices to the Highest Standard for Patient Safety

At Cabinet Peaks Medical Center the Sterile Processing Department knows just how critical it is to provide terminally sterilized equipment, on time, for every patient and every procedure. The highest standard for sterilization assurance comes from using a biological indicator, a true measure of the lethality of a sterilization cycle, to monitor each and every load, every time, for the same standard of care for every patient.

Recently, the Cabinet Peaks Medical Center Sterile Processing Department made the important decision to implement 3M's Every Load Monitoring program, which requires a biological indicator in every steam sterilization load. Working to ensure the highest possible level of sterilization assurance for instruments and implantable devices that are used in the Operating Room is one of the best ways the Sterile Processing Department can do their part to help contribute to reducing the risk of Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs).

Sandy Morse, Surgery Manager explains: "We want to be leaders in sterilization practice. With Every Load Monitoring, we are confident that we're doing everything possible to provide properly sterilized instruments for every patient."

Patients, Staff, and the Facility Benefit:

•A Reduction in the Risk of Infections: Nationally, 1 in 10 patients acquire an infection after admission to the hospital.1 When every load is monitored with a biological indicator, there is biological evidence the sterilization cycle was lethal before equipment is allowed to leave the sterile processing department - which plays a part in reducing the risk of Surgical Site Infections (SSIs), a type of HAI.

•A Reduction in Risk: Monitoring every load helps minimize the risk of non-sterile instruments being released, and ultimately can help reduce the risk that comes with HAIs.

•Fewer Disruptive Recalls: Recalls require significant staff time and resources to investigate and report. With Every Load Monitoring, there is less risk of disruption to patients, surgeons, operating room schedules, and SPD staff.

•Simpler Procedures: With Every Load Monitoring, a biological indicator process challenge device is included in every load. This leads to streamlined procedures and training, improved operational efficiency, reduced opportunities for error, and simplified work procedures.
"This is a big commitment for us, but one we're excited to make," said Morse. "At the end of the day, we're raising our standards and reducing risks - both critical elements to the success of our healthcare facility."
The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) is the primary source of consensus standards for the medical device industry. They publish the ANSI/AAMI ST79, Comprehensive guide to steam sterilization and sterility assurance for health care facilities and other standards that drive practices in sterile processing. AAMI ST79 states that, "Biological monitoring provides the only direct measure of the lethality of a sterilization cycle."
This biological indicator is a self-contained device including highly resistant spores that, when exposed to the proper sterilization conditions are killed. This process demonstrates the effectiveness of the cycle. 3M Health Care, a world leader in sterilization assurance products for more than 50 years, is the developer and manufacturer of 3M™ Attest™ Biological Indicators used at Cabinet Peaks Medical Center.
The most recent AAMI guidelines require the use of Biological Indicators weekly, preferably daily and in all loads that contain implantable devices. Cabinet Peaks Medical Center has committed to a higher standard of monitoring in order to provide for better patient safety.
"Our entire team, from the most experienced to the newest technicians, feels very proud of the work we do and how it contributes to patient safety. Every Load Monitoring takes 'recommended practice' to 'Best Practice' and is simply the right thing to do for our patients," concluded Morse
For more information on this process, call the CPMC Surgery Department at 283-7110