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Are You Committing These Common Lapses in Infection Prevention?

These are most likely to saddle you with a CMS citation.

Published: March 17, 2016

POTENTIAL STAIN? Failure to use an approved laundry service for scrubs is a common CMS violation.

CMS surveyors have been busy citing hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers for infection-prevention shortcomings since the beginning of the year. Curious what the top 5 infection-related citations are? Infection Control Consulting Services (ICCS) has released a report identifying 5 of the top citations:

  1. Failing to make sure your infection control officer is qualified in terms of experience, ongoing education and training.
  2. Failing to identify, prevent, and control potential infection-control issues via an effective risk assessment. Assessments, says ICCS founder and president Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, must be consistent with professional standards.
  3. Failing to follow AORN guidelines for surgical attire by, among other violations, not tying masks tightly enough, failing to completely cover personal clothing with surgical attire in semi-restricted or restricted surgical areas, failing to use an approved company to launder scrubs, and failing to identify semi-restricted and restricted areas.
  4. Central processing failures, including inappropriate packaging of instruments, especially peel pouches; failing to open hinged instruments wide enough; storing clean and sterile supplies in the same room; and inadequately monitoring the environment in central processing.
  5. Failing to adequately reprocess endoscopes. Common issues, says ICCS, include failing to properly transport scopes from the OR to the reprocessing area, failing to monitor temperature and humidity in the decontamination room, mistakes involving soaking of instruments and failing to wear personal protective equipment in the decontamination room.

Jim Burger

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