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This award-winning blog supplements the articles in Hospital Infection Control & Prevention.

CMS focus could boost central services departments

A Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services draft infection control survey expected to be finalized for use in hospitals next year could lead to increased support and appreciation for the challenges faced by central services departments, says Rose Seavey, RN, BS, MBA, CNOR, CRCST, CSPDT, President/CEO of Seavey Healthcare Consulting, Inc., in Arvada, CO.

A specialist in reprocessing issues, Seavey notes that the CMS survey includes important and potentially problematic areas like endoscope reprocessing. For example, the CMS survey requires that such “items are thoroughly pre-cleaned according to manufacturer instructions and visually inspected for residual soil prior to high-level disinfection. For lumened instruments (e.g., endoscopes), pre-cleaning must include all device channels and lumens with cleaning brushes appropriate for size of instrument channel or port.”

“They are spelling it out — you must use the appropriate size brushes,” Seavey says.

“Facilities may be tempted to save money on brushes, and that can lead to situations where the wrong-size brush is being used to clean equipment.”

This could be a problem for equipment like endoscopes if you cannot pass the brush all the way through the lumen, she adds. “You can’t just go up one side and down the other or you are going to just pack it in,” she says.

For more on this story see the August 2012 issue of Hospital Infection Control & Prevention