Achieving Compliance With ANSI/AAMI ST79, Amendment 1


This presentation by Jill Holdsworth, MS, CIC, FAPIC, CRCST, NREMT, CHL, at HSPA 2024, focuses on understanding and implementing ANSI/AAMI ST79 Amendment 1 to improve environmental services in sterile processing.

Environmental services is critical in maintaining cleanliness and preventing infections. However, compliance with standards, mainly ANSI/AAMI ST79 Amendment 1, remains challenging for many departments.

A presentation on this topic is led by an experienced professional, Jill Holdsworth, MS, CIC, FAPIC, CRCST, NREMT, CHL, who is the manager of infection prevention for Emory University Hospital Midtown in Atlanta, Georgia, and examines the intricacies of Amendment 1 and offers practical insights for enhancing collaboration between EVS and sterile processing departments.

Holdsworth gave her presentation, “Cleaning up the Department: The Journey to Becoming Compliant with the ST79 Standard for Environmental Services.” at the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA) Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, from April 20 to April 23, 2024, and she spoke with Infection Control Today® (ICT®) about her key points.

“This is an area that many people struggle with, “Holdsworth told ICT. “And when this amendment came out, everybody was excited about it. And I haven't seen a lot of movement, at least from the people I have talked to, with following this standard and making sure that everybody's planning sterile processing departments correctly; I still hear many people talking about how things aren't cleaned. Environmental services isn’t doing the right thing when we have exactly what needs to be done line by line frequencies; there's even a sample of checklists in Amendment 1 for us.”

ICT asked Holdsworth why she chose to speak about this topic. Holdsworth responded that it's a crucial issue for the sterile processing department. She has received feedback from many people who say that it's a challenge for them.

Moreover, when Holdsworth talks to people about the amendment, she finds that many are unaware of what it says. As a result, it's an ongoing struggle. Holdsworth believes that more attention should be given to this topic so that the sterile processing department can align more with the AAMI document standards. Holdsworth emphasized the need for partnerships between the environmental services, infection preventionists, and the sterile processing department to improve adherence to the amendment.

She said that many people believed that things would automatically get better once this amendment came out, but this is not the case. Holdsworth thinks all parties need to work together and be on the same page to overcome these challenges.

Find other coverage from HSPA 2024 and previous years here.

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