AAMI Posters Provide Sterilization Tips

With a goal of making sure patients are never exposed to contaminated medical equipment, the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instumentation (AAMI) has created five laminated posters with helpful tips for sterile processing departments.

The posters topics are: when not to perform immediate-use steam sterilization, steps to follow with sterilization process failures, how to load a sterilizer, the minimum times for gravity-displacement steam sterilization cycles, and items to check in identifying reasons for process failures.

Each poster features tips to address the specific subject. For example, the checklist poster reminds personnel to check the cycle temperature when trying to determine why a cycle failure occurred.

The topics chosen are ones that are frequently problematic, says Cynthia Spry, a consultant based in New York, who reviewed the posters content.

They are also convenient, says Rose Seavey, another reviewer who is president and CEO of Seavey Healthcare Consulting LLC in Arvada, Colo. Having these very clear instructions readily available for staff immediately instead of having to look them up in a book or on a computer will help drive compliance to best practices, she says.

The reprocessing of reusable medical devices has gained widespread attention in the national media amid reports of patients being exposed to improperly sterilized equipment. Last year, AAMI and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held a two-day summit on reprocessing, which includes sterilization. Nearly 300 stakeholders hashed out the main challenges to effective reprocessing, such as inadequate training, complex manufacturers cleaning instructions, a lack of staff, and hard-to-clean devices.

The posters are available for purchase as a set of five. The list price is $89 and the AAMI member price is $59. The order code is POSTER-S. To order copies, shop the AAMI store at www.aami.org or call +1-877-249-8226.