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|On November 1, 2017, the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) released a new edition of the Comprehensive Guide to Steam Sterilization and Sterility Assurance in Health Care Facilities (ST79:2017) with numerous new guidelines issued.|
|The updated guidelines include:
All healthcare organizations that perform sterilization, including ambulatory surgery centers, physician offices, cardiac catherization laboratories, endoscopy suites, radiology departments, and dentist offices.
According to the CDC, approximately 46.5 million surgical procedures are performed each year, each involving contact by a medical device or surgical instrument with a patient’s sterile tissue or mucous membranes. The CDC states that disinfection and sterilization are essential for helping to ensure that medical and surgical instruments do not transmit infectious pathogens to patients.1
The AAMI ST79 guideline is designed to help ensure the steam sterilization of products in healthcare facilities and the maintenance of the sterility of processed items until the point of use. In addition to new or revised guidelines, AAMI ST79:2017 has also been reorganized for easy navigation and readability to further help you stay in compliance with accrediting bodies.
If your organization performs sterilization, you should have a copy of ST79:2017 on hand and easily accessible to all staff. Whenever there is a revision to rules, regulations, and standards, review your organization’s relative policies and procedures for compliance with the revisions and update them as necessary.
Access these helpful resources to help your facility better prepare:
The CDC Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities presents recommendations on the preferred methods for cleaning, disinfection and sterilization of patient-care medical devices and for cleaning and disinfecting the healthcare environment.
The International Association of Healthcare Central Service Material Management (IAHCSMM) offers education and certification for healthcare professionals in the cleaning, decontaminating, and sterilizing of medical and surgical instrumentation.
1: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2008 Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities: Introduction. 2008: 8, 8-9, 10-12, 84, 98-99. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/hicpac/Disinfection_Sterilization/1_sumIntroMethTerms.html