The New York State Senate today passed legislation, S.5155-d (Grisanti), that requires central service technicians to be certified and undergo continuing education credits. On June 18, 2012, the NY State Assembly passed this legislation, A.8620-c (Bronson). Central service technicians play a most important role in the delivery of patient care. These professionals are responsible for ensuring that instrumentation and equipment used in medical and surgical procedures are properly cleaned, disinfected, inspected, and sterilized prior to patient use.
The International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM) has long been an outspoken advocate of state certification of central service technicians.
"Today, New York patients in our health care facilities will be safer from the spread of infections. Our central service technicians are the first line of defense in maintaining quality control to prevent and control the spread of infection, says Sen. Mark Grisanti. Assemblyman Harry Bronson adds,Technicians need to be properly trained on how to clean medical equipment to prevent and control the spread of infection.
Certification of central service technicianswill help drive positive patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs overall," says Josephine Colacci, JD, director of government affairs for IAHCSMM. "I applaud Senator Grisanti and Assemblyman Bronson for their efforts in getting these bills passed. In my career, I have worked with state legislators across the country and I have never seen more tenacity for this issue than exemplified by Senator Grisanti and Assemblyman Bronson."
New surgical instruments are being introduced regularly, which requires an advanced technical knowledge that only certification will provide, adds Steve Maley, CSPDM, CHL, president of the New York State Association of Central Service Professionals. Certification will keep technicians educated on standards-based instrument processing practices so these professionals can perform their jobs safely and effectively while keeping quality and patient safety at the forefront.
New Jersey is currently the sole state in the nation to require certification, but legislation has been introduced in Pennsylvania. Numerous other states are actively educating state-elected officials on the central service technicians role.
We are definitely making positive strides, Colacci adds. The next state to pass legislation will likely be the tipping point for many others to follow. This is why education and awareness is so critical.