How Andrews Institute Ambulatory Surgery Center cut flash sterilization episodes from 2.4K to 0

Gulf Breeze, Fla.-based Andrews Institute Ambulatory Surgery Center decreased its immediate use sterilization episodes from more than 2,400 to zero in five years by deploying strategies such as daily huddles, schedule adjustments and reprocessing discussions, Relias Media reports.

Here's what you should know:

1. The Andrews Institute ASC launched a program to eliminate IUSS after federal regulations changed to stipulate IUSS must be used solely for emergency purposes.

The ASC recorded more than 2,400 episodes in 2013. That number decreased to 131 in 2016, one in 2017 and zero so far in 2018.

2. To eliminate IUSS, the ASC invested in more instruments, such as retina trays, for under $10,000. It also streamlined the process by using physician preference cards, which required working with surgeons to update, develop and ensure accuracy.

3. The sterile processing department formed two daily huddles to create open communication and remind staff of the overarching goal. During huddles, staff members assessed daily and weekly schedules to determine what resources would be needed. They also learned new procedures, rules and techniques.

4. Rather than hiring new staff, the ASC reorganized staff assignments and staggered sterile processing employees' shifts to ensure full coverage throughout the day. Each employee was assigned to a specific task.

5. The ASC's purchasing and sterile processing department manager and quality improvement, infection control, safety and regulations officer spoke with physicians about better handling dropped instruments. They explained reprocessing dropped instruments could cause up to 17 minute of processing time.

More articles on quality:
5 things to know about Gregory P. DeConciliis, administrator of Boston Out-Patient Surgical Suites
Man accused of ASC stabbing gets trial date, 5 years after incident — 5 insights
Patient desire for convenience continues to drive ASC growth: 3 key details to know

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