IAHCSMM Standards Value Letter
Sterile Processing departments (SPDs) operating in the absence of the latest industry standards, guidelines and recommended practices face a myriad of negative outcomes, not the least of which can include increased risk to patient and healthcare worker safety, survey deficiencies and fines, and devastating damage to their facility's reputation.
It's a message voiced by many experts -- from SP veterans, consultants, and surveyors from The Joint Commission (TJC) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), to litigators, representatives from healthcare associations and government agencies, and more. Unfortunately, many facilities lack these critical resources.
In some cases, facilities don't have any version of certain standards; others may only have outdated versions – such as the 2013 version of ANSI/AAMI ST79, Comprehensive guide to steam sterilization and sterility assurance in health care facilities, instead of the most current 2017 version. Having current standards is not just extremely important for the SPD, but for the facility, as a whole. ANSI/AAMI ST79, for example, is a comprehensive document with valuable information for the SPD, Operating Room, Infection Prevention, Safety, Risk Management, and Engineering/Facilities Management. ANSI/AAMI ST79: 2017 is also the document by which TJC and CMS surveyors are being trained.
Limited budgets are often to blame for the lack of standards in SPDs. To help SP professionals petition their facilities for the most current standards, guidelines and recommended practices needed for quality customer service and patient safety, IAHCSMM drafted the following 'Standards Value Letter,' a template that SP managers can customize and share with administrators and other executives.
Click here to view the updated Standards Value Letter Template