IAHCSMM to Release Sixth Edition CS Technical Manual

CHICAGO - The International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM) announces that its Central Service Technical Manual has undergone extensive revisions and is due to be released this summer.

The new sixth edition (458 pages) which will be significantly larger and more detailed than editions of the past, represents the most comprehensive central service manual ever developed.

The revised version will feature approximately 100 more pages than the current fifth edition and include new chapters and expanded content to better serve professionals working in today's busy and every-changing CS environment.

According to Jack Ninemeier, PhD, the manual's editor, bringing the sixth edition to fruition required extensive involvement and research from experts who authored each chapter, as well as input from many stakeholders - including IAHCSMM board members and ACE instructors -- to ensure that revisions would best meet the needs of the discipline.

"We [solicited] comments from virtually everyone who had a role to play in this revised manual because we wanted their voices to be heard and didn't want to overlook any important points," said Ninemeier. "By having broad representation of those in the field, we believe the textbook more effectively addresses key issues and serves as an even more comprehensive reference tool for the user."

The sixth edition marks the first significant changes to the Central Service Technical Manual in three years; the fifth edition version was last updated in April 2000.

While overall theme and content of the revised technical manual will essentially remain the same, that is, covering every aspect of the central service discipline, some key changes and additions will be apparent.

The sixth edition will feature a new chapter on flexible and rigid endoscopes, providing users with valuable information on the often-challenging devices, from cleaning and disinfection to proper handling and storage. Some chapters represented in the current edition will also be expanded in the new version, with specific CS functions being broken into separate chapters for greater emphasis and attention to detail. Decontamination and disinfection, for example, two highly specific and detailed CS functions that share a common chapter in the current edition, will each be more thoroughly addressed in separate chapters.

Rigid containers, which are currently covered in an all-encompassing chapter on sterile packing and storage in the fifth edition, will also have a dedicated chapter in the latest version.

Updated regulatory requirements and recommended practices will also be included in the new manual. Among the most significant revisions were those made to the chapter on the reuse of single-use medical devices. Other changes are more cosmetic, yet no less relevant, including updated photos and illustrations, and a more extensive glossary "for more at-hand reference," noted Ninemeier.

In addition to serving as a comprehensive departmental reference tool, the revised technical manual will also serve as an educational platform to help CS technicians prepare for the Certified Registered Central Service Technician program.

Although the manual is no longer the sole source of knowledge for the CRCST exam, which was restructured late last year to follow a practice-based approach (that is, using questions based on subject matter that has been defined by experts in the field for safe and effective practice, as opposed to knowledge that comes entirely from a textbook), the information will still serve as a springboard for which the exam questions are based. Ninemeier added that the writers of the exam will also have a copy of the revised textbook.

"Just because the exam is more skilled-driven, that doesn't mean the textbook has lost its value. It will continue to play an important role in exam preparation by providing [CS staff with] the most current and pertinent information pertaining to the discipline, and creating a solid foundation for understanding required sterile processing-related tasks," he noted.

The International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management is a premier association for professionals in healthcare central service/materiel management. IAHCSMM provides structured educational opportunities, professional development and a forum for information exchange to more than 8,000