The outpatient ambulatory setting has become the setting for surgical procedures once performed in inpatient hospitals. This shift has intensified the use of reprocessed sterile instruments in ambulatory medical offices. An ambulatory infection prevention team within a large medical group discovered surgical instruments with debris and potential bioburden remaining after the sterilization process was performed via a tabletop steam sterilizer (autoclave). The finding of retained debris on sterile instruments prompted an immediate response utilizing a “Call to Action” to sequester and rescue instruments. Multiple gaps were discovered in the process of decontamination, cleaning, holding, instrument disassembly, packaging, sterilizer operation and maintenance, documentation and storage of sterilized instruments. The “Call to Action” process included communication and coordination with leadership, inspection of every reusable instrument at each office, and education related to reprocessing. Multiple actions were implemented to improve the safety of sterile instruments in the ambulatory medical office setting.
Describe at least three components of the “Call to Action” process utilized during the rescue of surgical instruments.
State challenges to reprocessing surgical instruments within a medical office.
List actions implemented to improve the safety of sterile instruments in the ambulatory setting.
MSN, BS, RN, CIC,
Clinical Operations Specialist, Infection Prevention,
Spectrum Health Medical Group
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