Inadequate device disinfection lands at number 5 on Emergency Care Research Institute’s (ECRI) annual list of top 10 patient safety concerns.
ECRI suggests this list should be used as a starting point for patient safety conversations and priorities, to identify areas for improvement, and lastly, for developing strategies to address identified concerns.
ECRI recommends that healthcare facilities build workflow processes which involve the following:
- Sterile Processing Department, Infection Prevention and other clinical staff input
- Quality checks throughout the disinfection and sterilization process
- Improve relationships between staff
- Constant, continuing education for staff
- Establish and/or improve relationships with device companies
- Use both educational knowledge and resources to
- Improve sterilization and disinfection procedures
- Decrease the instance of preventable errors and cost
- Protect the safety patients and staff
While this list was published prior the quickly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, it becomes especially relevant to reduce poor device disinfection as a potential catalyst in the spread of the novel virus.