What ASCs can do to correct The Joint Commission's most violated standard

Infection control was the most cited area plaguing ambulatory healthcare in 2016, but The Joint Commission's Infection Control Specialist Lisa Waldowski shared methods to address it in Ambulatory Buzz.

Standard — IC.02.02.01, EP 2 — or "The organization reduces the risk of infections associated with medical equipment, devices and supplies by performing a high-level disinfection and sterilization," was the most cited standard in 2016.

Approximately 43 percent of surveyed ambulatory healthcare organizations and 53 percent of office-based surgery sites had at least one non-complaint finding associated with the standard.

The Joint Commission reviewed immediate threat to life declarations and found that 74 percent of all ITLs, across all its accreditation programs related to improperly sterilized equipment in 2016.

Here's what to do to fix the issue:

1. In a separate update, The Joint Commission offered five key activities centers can implement to promote infection control, including:

  • Ensure that staff who perform sterilizations have been trained and are competent in the area as well as supervise and monitor the staff sterilizing components.
  • Make manufacturer instructions available and easily accessible for all components that are being sterilized. Ask staff to show you where the instructions are.
  • Make the latest evidence-based guidelines available.
  • Ensure that sterilization quality control requirements are met and documented.

Create an adequate sterilization space ensuring process flows from dirty to clean, with no risk of cross contamination

2. Ms. Waldowski stressed the importance of training and ensuring staff members are held accountable to center leadership.

She added that sterilization should always be a top priority, and that the sterilization processes should follow the designated steps and allocated time frames.

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