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This month, my intrepid publisher, Bill Eikost, and I will be traveling to Las Vegas to present a session at the annual meeting of the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM), titled, The ABCs of Writing an Article: Everything You Wanted to Know, but Were Afraid to Ask. We hope to share with you our suggestions for how researching and writing an article addressing an aspect of sterile processing and material management can not only improve your career, but serve as a catalyst for information sharing and dialogue within the professional community. There is a real need for members of your profession to share their knowledge with their colleagues as well as with infection control practitioners who see the value in partnering with other members of the infection- prevention team. After all, you play a pivotal role in the hospitals efforts to save money, save human lives, and keep the central service (CS) department humming along with optimal efficiency.
Natalie Lind, CRCST, CHL, educational director for the IAHCSMM, summed it up beautifully when she observed, In the CS department, virtually everything that we do is designed to support patient care and treatment. The impact that our efforts can have on patient outcomes can be easily understood when we examine daily tasks such as decontamination, assembly, sterilization, and distribution. Each step in our processes helps protect the patient from harm and insure the availability of safe instruments, supplies, and equipment. What we sometimes seem to forget is the impact that our CS Departments environment can have on our patients. Providing safe items for patient care requires much more than the hands-on tasks associated with decontamination and sterilization. It requires us to develop a mindset that protects those items from contamination threats throughout their processing cycle.
You may not have realized that you are a tremendous repository of information, ideas, and perspectives about how to improve the CS department, which in turn has an immense impact on patient outcomes, risk management, infection control, and relationships between the sterile processing and the surgical services departments. In our session at the IAHCSMM meeting, we will show you how to unlock the creative process that dwells inside each of us, and unleash it so that you can share your thoughts about your profession, your motivations to strive for excellence, and the technical best practices you know from experience will serve the CS department well.
That clichÃ©d saying, What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, is not appropriate for IAHCSMM members, as we know youll be fired up about telling the world how great your work is, and how you matter to healthcare quality-assurance processes.
If youre at IAHCSMM, be sure to stop by to see us at booth #103, and dont forget to attend our presentation from 9:45 a.m. to 11 a.m. on May 25, 2006. We promise to keep you entertained and enlightened!
Until next month, bust those bugs!
Kelly M. Pyrek
Editor in Chief