Infection Control Today - 10/2003: IAHCSMMs


IAHCSMMs Growth Prompts New Educational Resources


The International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM) has experienced significant growth, with its membership base now exceeding 9,000. To meet the ever-changing needs of the profession and the demands of a burgeoning association membership, IAHCSMM is working harder than ever to provide cutting-edge educational resources that are not only current and thorough, but also encompass subject matter most critical to todays busy CSMM professionals. Among IAHCSMMs latest educational endeavors is its newly released sixth edition Central Service Technical Manual. The edition, which represents the first significant change to the manual in three years, features approximately 100 more pages than the previous text, and includes new chapters and expanded content.

Bringing the sixth edition text to fruition required extensive involvement and research from experts who authored each chapter, along with input from numerous stakeholders, including IAHCSMM board members and ACE instructors, to ensure that revisions best met the needs of the profession and that the reference was as comprehensive as possible. IAHCSMM was committed to obtaining input from a range of professionals in the field because it wanted their voices to be heard and their broad representation incorporated into the revised copy. The result of such representation is a more detailed, comprehensive reference tool for the user.

Although the overall theme and content of the manual are essentially the same, that is, covering virtually every aspect of the central service discipline, some key changes are apparent most notably, a new chapter on flexible and rigid endoscopes. The chapter provides essential information on the challenging devices, from cleaning and disinfection to proper handling and storage. The chapter also includes regulations and guidelines, infection control implications, repair provider selection as well as a useful competency checklist and a series of diagrams and photos.

The sixth edition features other expanded chapters, with specific CS functions broken into separate chapters for greater emphasis and attention to detail. Decontamination and disinfection, for example, two highly specific and detailed functions that shared a common chapter in the fifth edition, are now addressed more comprehensively in separate chapters. Rigid containers, formerly covered in a broader chapter on sterile packaging and storage, now have their own dedicated chapter in the sixth edition a decision based in part on many requests by sterile processing professionals for IAHCSMMs EXCEL training module on rigid containers.

Updated regulatory requirements and recommended practices are also featured in the latest edition, including those pertaining to reuse of single-use devices, while updated photos and a more extensive glossary create a more valuable, at-hand reference.

While the sixth edition manual certainly serves as a comprehensive departmental reference tool, that isnt its only function. The revised text also serves as an educational platform to help CS technicians prepare for the practice-based Certified Registered Central Service Technician exam. In fact, the information contained in the manual will still serve as a springboard for which exam questions are based, even though the recently restructured exam is more skill-driven in nature.

As yet another example of IAHCSMMs ongoing commitment to providing CSMM staff with the best educational tools and support, the association executive board has agreed to appoint a dedicated educational director to serve as policy-maker and lead all of IAHCSMMs current and future educational endeavors.

IAHCSMM is currently seeking a motivated, experienced individual who possesses a solid understanding of certification policies and procedures, and is well-versed in instructor concepts. Key responsibilities will include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Serving as primary resource contact for all CSMM technical issues

  • Planning outcomes and goals for educational pursuits, including PDRC

  • Reviewing certification policies and procedures, and finalizing instrument course initiatives

  • Serving as liaison to all allied groups, including AORN, AST, APIC and AAMI;

  • Overseeing the instructor-secured Web site

  • Developing and revising educational texts and materials that promote the CSMM profession

  • Researching, developing and implementing a mentoring program for the educational staff

The association strongly encourages all qualified individuals to apply for this position, and serve as a vital contributor to IAHCSMMs ongoing commitment to educational excellence and professional guidance.

For more information, contact IAHCSMM at (800) 962-8274; those interested in applying for the educational director position may e-mail a resume and cover letter to

Sybil Williams, CRCST, CHL, CST, ACE, BS, is manager of CSP at Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital in Houston, Texas and is president of the IAHCSMM.

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