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Conference Information

2020 IAHCSMM Conference Goes Virtual

For weeks, IAHCSMM had been carefully monitoring the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation and its impact on the 2020 IAHCSMM Annual Conference & Expo. As the crisis evolved into a global pandemic, the IAHCSMM Board of Directors made the decision to cancel the face-to-face conference due to health and wellness concerns for attendees and the community. Because IAHCSMM understands the need for continuing education in the Sterile Processing (SP) profession, our annual conference has migrated to a virtual concept. Access to the virtual conference is available at no charge to any SP professional who holds a current certification or membership with IAHCSMM. This access includes all the on-demand education, live webinars, exhibitor interaction, poster presentations, and more. Best of all, credits achieved through the virtual conference are completely complimentary to those who have registered for and participated in this event. The virtual conference will open May 22 and run through July 20. We look forward to engaging virtually with you soon!

On-Demand Sessions: Offered May 22 - July 20, 2020

Natalie Lind, IAHCSMM

Natalie Lind

Cleaning: The Human Factor

Cleaning is the cornerstone of disinfection and sterilization. How difficult can that be? Hasn't it all been said? What more is there to learn? There is a risk every time cleaning is unsuccessful. Join us as we explore the cleaning process and our role in its success.

Demystifying Standards: A Journey into Newly Released AAMI Standards and TIRs

Anticipation has been building for the new version of ANSI/AAMI ST91 and updates to ANSI/AAMI ST79:2017, and they’re finally here! But what are standards, why are they important, what is the difference between recommendations and requirements, and what do Sterile Processing departments (SPDs) need to be aware of regarding revised, amended and new standards? Come learn about AAMI’s role in standards development for Sterile Processing (SP), how standards such as ST79 and ST91 are created and revised to stay current, and who is involved in this process, as well as the important changes and updates in the newly released and forthcoming standards and technical information reports (TIRs) that will help you ensure that your department is prepared.

Amanda Benedict, AAMI

Amanda Benedict

Betty McGinty, Boston Scientific

Betty McGinty

Endoscope Drying: A Detailed Look at Method Effectiveness and Microbial Levels

Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates (SGNA) standards for reprocessing endoscopes identify endoscope drying as the eighth major step. There is an expectation to complete this step between patient uses as well as prior to storing the endoscope for future use. Drying the channels is of utmost importance in the aim toward patient safety through infection prevention. Retained moisture within endoscope channels provides a suitable environment for bacteria survival and the development of biofilm. Biofilm presents a major risk to successful endoscope reprocessing. Endoscope drying cabinets offer an option for accomplishing dry endoscope channels. As a co-author in a published study that compares a drying cabinet to standard storage cabinet, the presenter will outline the details of the study, highlight the current available drying methodologies, provide education related to high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) circulation, instrument-grade air, and global standards, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the various drying modalities.

Good Germs vs. Bad Germs: Our Own Microbiome

Trillions of microorganisms live in and on the surface of our human bodies. They make what is now called “the human microbiome.” Without these “good germs,” the human body cannot function. We will discuss how our own microbiome affects conditions from birth through childhood to aging as well as disease states such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and gut diseases. We will also review how this new world affects our work in disinfection and sterilization.

Peggy Luebbert, Ortho Nebraska - Omaha

Peggy Luebbert

Susan Klacik, IAHCSMM
& Erin Kyle, AORN

Susan Klacik
Erin Kyle

A Guide to the Guidelines: Understanding AORN Guidelines for Perioperative Practice

The AORN Guidelines are based on science and research, which is ever-changing. New guidelines are introduced annually, and several are updated based on new findings. As a Sterile Processing (SP) professional, it is critical to stay abreast of current best practices. This is a collaborative presentation between AORN and IAHCSMM to introduce the new AORN Guidelines format, recent AORN Guideline changes and the science and logic for the changes. Staying abreast of guideline changes and implementing the process improvements elevates patient care. This presentation provides the attendees with the information needed to make improvements.

Leaders Eat Last: Building a Strong Culture through “Corps Values”

With years of experience leading Marines locally and in war zones abroad, Brandon understands that being an effective leader means the difference between lives saved and lives lost. This presentation will define the foundation of the world-renowned Marine Corps values and how Sterile Processing (SP) leaders can adapt and implement “Corps Values” to build a strong culture in their daily practice.

Brandon VanHee, Key Surgical LLC

Brandon VanHee

Damien Berg, UCHealth

Damien Berg

Loaned Instruments: Proper Protocols and Challenges

Healthcare facilities often have a need to borrow instrumentation and surgical implants for a surgical or invasive procedure from a specific vendor or neighboring healthcare facility. The management of loaned instrumentation and implants in healthcare facilities is recognized as a problem by many healthcare professionals today. This presentation will help the audience understand the regulatory requirements as well as the recommendations from standards organizations such as AAMI and other associations who provide education and recommendations such as IAHCSMM and AORN.

The Optimal Sterile Processing Department: Blending Technology with Expertise

Technology, when combined with the expertise of the Sterile Processing (SP) professional, provides a high level of assurance that we deliver clean and sterile equipment to our customers (surgeons, physicians, nurses, patients, etc.). This session will provide an overview of available technologies that can enhance the performance of your equipment or serve to give greater assurance of high-quality, effective cleaning and sterilization processes.

Gail Horvath
& Scott Lucas, ECRI Institute

Gail Horvath
Scott Lucas

Jill Holdsworth, Emory University Hospital Midtown

Jill Holdsworth

Partners in Prevention: Building the Bond with Infection Prevention

This session will highlight the importance of the relationship between Sterile Processing (SP) and Infection Prevention by stressing the impact SP has on patient safety in the facility. The relationship between the two departments needs to be very strong, and many ways in which this relationship can be built and strengthened will be discovered during this session, such as several real-life examples of risk assessments and projects completed collaboratively between an IP and Sterile Processing department (SPD). A comprehensive rounding program will be described, and participants will feel energized and motivated when leaving this session to begin or strengthen their relationships with their IPs through collaborating and working together on projects.

Protective Clothing – All Gowns Are Not Created Equal!

Gowns are the second most frequently used item of personal protective equipment (PPE) in healthcare and are considered medical devices and subject to regulation. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the principal agency to provide regulatory oversight for the manufacturing and sales of gowns used in healthcare. The FDA regulates gowns as either class I (low risk) or class II (intermediate risk) medical devices. This presentation will outline the regulations, guidelines and standards for gowns and provide considerations for selecting appropriate gowns for Sterile Processing professionals (SP) and other healthcare workers.

Selcen Kilinc-Balci, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
& Jacqueline Daley, Providence Health System

Selcen Kilinc-Balci
Jacqueline Daley


Jon Wood

It's a Risky Business

Have you ever been in a situation where there was not a clear recommendation, standard or evidence-based guideline that directed you on how to handle certain situations within your department? This presentation will help guide the Sterile Processing professional through these frustrating situations by utilizing a risk assessment. The presentation will explain what a risk assessment is, examine the elements in a risk assessment and discuss real-life scenarios.

Understanding the “WHY” Behind What We Do in SPD

This lecture will emphasize the "WHY" of Sterile Processing department (SPD) processes and protocols. Why do we have to do what is asked or required of us? Why must we follow instructions for use? Why must we follow AAMI guidelines? WHY? WHY? WHY?!! The goal of this presentation is to provide the rationalization and, thus, the "why" around procedures to keep patients safe and provide a productive environment in the SPD.

Karen Owens, STERIS Corporation

Karen Owens

Jonathan Wilder, Quality Processing Resource Group, LLC

Jonathan Wilder

Washer-Disinfectors: What Goes into a Successful Cycle?

Washer-disinfectors are a critical part of processing instruments, especially for the complex instruments found in today’s surgical procedures. They further present many challenges to the Sterile Processing professionals who must process them. This presentation is designed to give a better understanding of these machines, their accessories, and the processes they run, and to make clear the critical aspects of the processes that are needed to ensure successful processing. Each cycle phase will be discussed to show how it contributes to the cleaning process. In a typical cycle, these phases consist of initial rinse, enzyme wash, neutral wash, intermediate rinses, final rinse, and thermal disinfection. A discussion of the pros and cons of using the washer-disinfector cycle to lubricate instruments will also be presented, along with a discussion of cleaning verification tools and their use in washer performance verification.

Live Sessions: Offered June 8, June 12 and July 9, 2020

Communicate! It's Service Excellence

Monday, June 8 at 10am CT

Communicating the processes in Sterile Processing is a daily challenge. When this challenge meets the stressful situation of surgical care, communication becomes the barrier to success. This presentation will motivate and inspire technicians to develop a communication style that will lead to service excellence.

Monique Jelks, St. Vincent Hospital

Monique Jelks

Cori Ofstead & John Eiland, Ofstead & Associates, Inc

Cori Ofstead
John Eiland

Flexible Endoscope Safety: Evidence-Based Advocacy for Quality Management

Friday, June 12 at 10am CT

For several years, IAHCSMM members have taken the lead in identifying problems related to flexible endoscopes and developing programs to educate and support frontline personnel. The awareness-building efforts appear to be gaining traction, as there has been a steep escalation in published reports of injuries and infections related to the use of damaged or contaminated endoscopes. We are concerned about these adverse patient outcomes; however, we are encouraged by the increasing recognition that it is time to do something about these problems. This session will describe the rationale for developing and implementing quality management programs for flexible endoscopes. The presenters will describe ways to address human factors issues and maximize the value of the available quality checks. They will describe strategies for leveraging scientific evidence to obtain the resources needed to manage quality and ensure patient safety. Attendees will also receive tools to help them advocate for their department and obtain support for quality management measures.

Upping Your Game for Quality Control in SPD and Endoscopy

Thursday, July 9 at 10am CT

This session is intended to review survey results from IAHCSMM members on key challenges of implementing and maintaining recommended quality control and risk management practices. An overview of key issues related to compliant quality management will be provided for Sterile Processing department (SPD) and Endoscopy processing. Quality control is a common compliance focus of auditors. According to The Joint Commission, citations for processing departments have been increasing annually for the last eight years. This presentation will help participants understand the challenges and provide examples on how to safeguard against compliance findings including risk assessment activities. At the conclusion of this session, participants will have gained an understanding of the issues, standards and requirements and have better awareness of the impact to the patient and processing practice. This information can be used to help assess current facility practices and guidelines.

Janet Prust, 3M Health Care

Janet Prust

2020 IAHCSMM Annual Conference

2020 IAHCSMM Annual Conference Cancelled Due to Fears of the Spread of COVID-19

The IAHCSMM Board of Directors made the hard decision to cancel the face-to-face meeting in Chicago, Illinois, which was to be held April 25 - 29, 2020.

Due to this necessary decision, IAHCSMM has been working hard to put together a virtual conference to bring you continuing education, access to vendors, and networking!

International Association of
Healthcare Central Service Materiel 
Management (IAHCSMM)

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