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Archive August 2019 XX, No. 8

Will Your Sterile Processing Department Pass Inspection?

Get central sterile in tip-top shape before the surveyor shows up.

Bob Marrs

Bob Marrs, CRCST, CIS, CHL


LIGHTED MAGNIFICATION Surveyors want to see your reprocessing techs inspecting sterilized instruments with magnified lighting.

Until they get cited in an inspection, most sterile processing departments are forced to cut corners and take shortcuts. My job is to arrive on the scene in advance of the surveyor’s unannounced visit to discover areas of needed improvement so your SPD passes inspection with flying colors. Because I can’t get out to see all of you, I’ll share the areas surveyors are sure to review. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

1. Follow instruments from dirty to clean. The 4 main components of a sterile processing department are decontamination, inspection/assembly, sterilization and storage. But the inspection neither starts nor ends in those areas. Using what’s called the Tracer Method, surveyors will follow instruments from dirty to clean. They’ll observe them from the OR post-use until they’re returned to the OR for the next procedure. Here’s what the surveyors will expect to see from your OR and reprocessing staffs:

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