Joint Commission Alerts Healthcare Organizations for Non-Compliance to Chemical Sterilization and High-Level Disinfection

September 22, 2014

The Joint Commission (TJC) alerted non-compliant health organizations that failed to meet the IC.02.02.01 standard for effective high-level disinfection (HLD) and sterilization of medical devices and supplies to prevent the risks of infection.

NIH Announces Winners of 2014 NIBIB’s Design by Biomedical Undergraduate Teams (DEBUT) ChallengeIn 2013, The Joint Commission surveyors observed potentially hazardous practices of their accredited hospitals, critical-access hospitals, ambulatory care centers, and office-based surgical facilities. The accrediting body encouraged aforementioned organizations to address the non-compliance to health and safety standards.

Any healthcare organization found to commit breaches in infection control and sterilization of medical equipment and proved to pose immediate threat to life (ITL) will be issued a preliminary denial of accreditation (PDA). The facility will be then required to address and eradicate the ITL within 72 hours, or implement emergency interventions to mitigate the risk to patients within the span of 23 days.

These 13 reported immediate threats to life incidents due to disinfection and lack of sterilization in the hospital environment could potentially harm the well being of patients, which is why the Joint Commission highly encourages awareness programs and proper training on critical disinfection and sterilization protocols.

"This alert should have sent a shock wave throughout healthcare facilities. I really think what we need is to have a mandated certification of central sterile techs," said Susan Klacik, CSS manager at Humility of Mary Health Partners and AAMI representative at the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM).

United by the same mission to support the healthcare community, the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) also released a list of "10 Things Your Organization Can Do Now to Improve Reprocessing", which outlines all the standard courses of action in sterile processing and all other proper handling procedures in medical instrument and devices.

Since its inception in 1951, The Joint Commission has been dedicated to providing evaluation, accreditation, and certification to more than 20,000 healthcare organizations and relative programs across the United States. This governing body has established its mission to uphold health care excellence and maintain the highest quality, value, and level of safety in patient care delivery.

Clinical equipment sterilization and high-level disinfection is paramount in preventing diseases and delivering optimal patient care and safety in healthcare facilities. AIV is committed to providing solid support to national, state, and local biomedical engineering groups by providing resources for the advancement of innovation and safety in the biomedical and clinical engineering arena. Browse through the list of featured biomedical and healthcare technology management associations we support at www.aiv-inc.com/biomed-associations.html for more information.

About the Author

Laura Collier

Laura Collier

Laura Collier has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of North Florida. She is the Marketing Manager at AIV, Inc.

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