Common Mistakes in ASC Infection Control

At the 18th Annual Ambulatory Surgery Centers Conference in Chicago on Oct. 27, Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, president of Infection Control Consulting Services, shared some infection control best practices and common mistakes in infection control in ASCs.

Ms. Segal listed the following problems as areas she focuses on within ASCs:

•    Inadequate cleaning of equipment (especially high-touch areas) in between patients.
•    Reuse of gowns.
•    Instrument and scope reprocessing failures.
•    Reprocessing room used for cleaning dirty instruments and storing sterile packs.
•    Active surveillance system inconsistent or nonexistent.
•    Lack of communication with staff.
•    "Flashing" — immediate sterilization — not according to manufacturer's instructions.
•    Blood glucose meters inadequately cleaned between patients.

Ms. Segal said one of the best tools against infections in ASCs is educating staff. Training staff on how to properly clean instruments and wash their hands can help ASCs meet infection control standards. She also recommended using checklists to ensure the guidelines are followed completely every day.

Related Articles on the 18th Annual Ambulatory Surgery Centers Conference:

How ASCs Can Manage Expenses and Physicians
Should ASCs Pursue ACOs?

6 Signs to Look for in an ASC Physician Leader

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