Accreditation

Q&A: Compliant use of flash sterilization

Accreditation Insider, September 11, 2012

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Q: How do I stay compliant while using flash sterilization in my facility?

A: Surveyors will investigate the use of flash sterilization in your facility. If your facility is routinely using flash sterilization to make up for a lack of equipment or staff, this may put the facility at risk for an RFI, and more importantly, may put your patients at risk for infection.

In addition to limiting the use of flash sterilization for emergency or non-routine situations, ensure your facility is compliant by taking the following steps:

  • Document when flash sterilization is used and include information about the patient, physician, device, and any other factors.
  • Ensure proper decontamination or instruments. Decontamination should be performed to the same standard as routine decontamination for normal sterilization processes.
  • Make sure flash sterilizers are maintained and functioning properly.
  • Develop policies and procedures to govern the use of flash sterilization, and monitor for compliance.

Editor’s Note: Do you have a question about clarifying RFIs, policy management, or survey-prep for our experts? E-mail your queries to Jaclyn Beck at jbeck@hcpro.com and receive one-on-one advice from our experienced advisory board. Submit a question and our credible sources will provide you with a timely answer.



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