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Hand-Healthy Hand Scrubs - December 2013 - Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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OSE_1213_part2_Layout 1 12/5/13 2:52 PM Page 52 S T E R I L I Z A T I O N Such infrequent flashing wasn't always the case at the 12-year-old surgery center. In the early years, routine flashing was the norm. Each eye surgeon had a single set of instruments — that's right, there weren't any backup sets — that techs flashed after each case. "We were flashing all day long," says Ms. Hoffman. Soon after an infection prevention consultant advised the center that it's neither safe nor wise to run rapid cycles to cover up for an inadequate instrument inventory, Ms. Hoffman went to her superiors with a plan of action. From now on, she told them, every time we have to flash a set of instruments, we'll invest in a backup set for it. They agreed. "It was a chunk of change, but they said do what you need to do to get to where you need to be." And so before long, the facility had invested in 6 new sets of eye instruments for its cataract surgeons. "Now that we have enough backup instruments, we hardly ever flash," says Ms. Hoffman. Ms. Hoffman's simple flash-avoidance policy: Have enough instrument sets for your daily caseload or schedule cases to allow for enough time between cases for full-cycle reprocessing. "We as a staff pride ourselves on not flashing," she says. "If we flash, we have to fill out an event report explaining why. " Only in an emergency AORN guidelines say you should only flash when time prohibits all other options. While it's best to avoid flash-sterilizing surgical instruments in non-emergency situations, there are times when you have no other choice but to run instruments through an immediate-use cycle. Trish Stoutzenberger, ST, CRCST, CHL, manager of central sterile supply at Lancaster 5 2 O U T PAT I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E O N L I N E | D E C E M B E R 2013

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