International Central Service Week recognizes the committed specialists that fill CS departments and make a difference in patient care throughout the United States. Held annually, CS Week starts with the second Sunday in October. The International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM). celebrates these dedicated professionals for all of their outstanding achievements every day of the year.
IAHCSMM provides the following tips to promote CS awareness:
Show Your Commitment to Patient Safety
Help raise awareness of the importance of adhering to standards and recommended practices to ensure safe patient care. Tell your Facebook friends or Twitter followers how proud you are to be a CS Professional. Use pre-written newsletter articles and press releases to share information about CS within your facility and community. Offer departmental tours or an open house to hospital employees not commonly familiar with central service. Sharing your stories of why central service and sterile processing is important is one of the most powerful tools you have.
Advocate for Support
Send a letter to your elected official(s) to educate them about the CS profession. One of the most effective methods for influencing public policy is direct communication between constituents and elected officials. Several states have proclamations ready for print and display within your department or hospital. If your state has a proclamation, you can use it to send a letter to your local paper or news station. Perhaps a story will be done to garner public awareness. If your state does not have a proclamation, theres no better time than today to contact your elected official and request one.
Engage the Community
Create community awareness of the CS role in patient safety. New resources and tips are available when visiting local schools, to help connect with high school students and create understanding of and interest in Central Service. IAHCSMM chapters can host outreach programs and events in their communities, and invite an elected official to attend.
Celebrate Your Team
Give Central Service heightened visibility with a memento from the CS Week Catalog or honor a colleague by making a donation to the Education Fund in their name. CS Week is also a time to reflect on professional development. Contact a local vendor to offer an intensive workshop with your staff to promote education. Create a poster for your department depicting a success story that occurred in the past year, or a bulletin board with staff pictures and employment history. Offer a scholarship for staff to become certified, or distribute certificates to employees that helped achieve departmental goals. Send a personal note or card to each member of your team, thanking them for their contributions toward better patient safety and care.