HCTW news brief: Joint Commission surveyors to focus on steam sterilization

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, July 10, 2009

The Joint Commission recently announced it will be refocusing its examination of steam sterilization during surveys after collaborating with professional and trade associations regarding the common and proper use of sterilization by steam.

The Joint Commission has identified several issues, including the use of different terminology to describe the process and inconsistent execution of sterilization methods. Surveyors will now pay more attention to the whole process of sterilization, rather than focusing just on which cycle of sterilization was chosen.

Specifically, surveyors will be keeping an eye on:

  • Instruments leaving the operating room
  • Healthcare workers' knowledge of sterilization procedures
  • Correct cleaning methods
  • Correct sterilization methods
  • Healthcare workers' use of appropriate protective equipment
  • Prevention of recontamination of sterile instruments
  • Sterilization logs

To read more, visit The Joint Commission's Web site.

Source: HealthLeaders Media

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