ECRI: Device Cleaning, Disinfection and Sterilization a Top Patient Safety Concern

By on 6:13 AM

The ECRI Institute has identified "device cleaning, disinfection and sterilization" as a significant patient safety concern in its "2018 Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns for Healthcare Organizations" report.

Coming in eighth on the list, ECRI notes the following in an executive brief: "Failure to follow proper cleaning, disinfecting and sterilization protocol at any point can result in a compromised device—and devastating effects for patients. To avoid outbreaks of potentially deadly diseases, a proactive approach is important."

In the brief, ECRI offers several tips, including:
  • ensure sufficient staff and equipment are available to handle the reprocessing workload;
  • ensure staff follow current guidelines and manufacturer recommendations; and
  • ensure the water and environmental filtration system undergoes regular surveillance and maintenance.
ECRI states that it creates the annual list of patient safety concerns to support healthcare organizations to proactively identify and respond to safety threats. The list is compiled using data on adverse events and concerns gathered by ECRI and "expert judgment."

The top three patient safety concerns in the report are:
  1. Diagnostic errors
  2. Opioid safety across the continuum of care
  3. Internal care coordination
To download the free executive brief, fill out the form here.

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC, is the founder and president of Infection Control Consulting Services LLC (ICCS). Phenelle has more than 30 years' experience providing customized comprehensive infection control and prevention services to healthcare facilities nationwide. Her services focus on assisting hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dental office and oral surgery practices, doctor's offices, nursing homes and other organizations with implementing and maintaining an infection control program that: complies with The Joint Commission, AAAHC, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and other regulatory agencies; respond to situations of noncompliance; and improve the processes for reducing risk.