Infection Control Today

FEB 2019

ICT delivers to infection preventionists & their colleagues in the operating room, sterile processing/central sterile, environmental services & materials management, timely & relevant news, trends & information impacting the profession & the industry

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26 ICT January/February 2019 www.infectioncontroltoday.com F or yet another consecutive year, infection preven- tion-related issues made the list of the 2019 Top 10 Health Technology Hazards, issued by ECRI Institute, a patient safety and medical technology research organi- zation. The annual list defi nes the top health technology hazards that ECRI Institute believes warrant priority attention by healthcare leaders. It serves as a starting point for discussions, helping healthcare organizations plan and prioritize their patient safety efforts. Contaminated mattresses, retained surgical sponges, and re-contaminated endoscopes are among the infection control-related risks that must be monitored, mitigated and eliminated where possible. James Davis, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, HEM, CIC, FAPIC, senior infection prevention and patient safety analyst/ consultant with ECRI Institute, encourages healthcare professionals to take these risks seriously, as bloodborne pathogen exposure was not previously identifi ed as a patient risk from mattress fl uid exposure. Additionally, there is a concern about staff exposure, as they may not be wearing gloves to make a bed, for example. Also, there is the issue of cross-contamination of workspaces for preventive maintenance (PM) and exposure risks for the biomed/maintenance staff, Davis points out. Other imperatives on the list include damage to electrical equipment from cleaning fl uids, improperly set alarms on ventilators and physiologic monitors, infusion pump errors, mechanical failures with overhead patient lifts, and battery charging errors. "Healthcare organizations need to take technology safety seriously," says David Jamison, executive director of ECRI's Health Devices program. "That's why our annual report includes practical solutions that can help prevent patient harm." "For the second consecutive year, ECRI Institute addressed the topic of mattress and mattress cover contamination on its annual Top 10 list of health technology hazards," confi rms Amanda Sivek, PhD, senior project engineer with ECRI Institute. "Obstacles Mitigating Healthcare Hazards as a Risk Management Strategy to addressing the issue persist, prompting ECRI to not only retain the topic, but to rank it as the No. 2 hazard on its list for 2019. A new hazard on ECRI Institute's Top 10 list of health technology hazards is cleaning fl uids seeping into electrical components, which can cause equipment damage and fi res." She continues, "The issues of mattress contamination and cleaning fl uids seeping into electrical components are under recognized issues due to their insidious nature. Mattress contamination may not be apparent unless a patient experiences a body fl uid ooze event. Equipment damage and fi res caused by cleaning fl uid ingress in electrical components is an iterative problem, meaning that equipment may continue to function until additional fl uid contamination occurs." The Hazards Let's examine each issue more closely. The first infection prevention-related issue on the 2019 ECRI Institute list is contaminated hospital mattresses. As the ECRI Institute report explains, "Blood and other body fl uids that remain on, or within, mattresses or mattress covers after cleaning can contact subsequent patients, posing an infection risk. Reported incidents include patients lying on an apparently clean bed or stretcher when blood from a previous patient oozed out of the surface onto the patient. Mattress covers are intended to prevent body fl uids and other contaminants from getting into mattresses. If a cover is not cleaned and disinfected effectively, or if its integrity is compromised in a way that allows the mattress underneath to become contaminated, subsequent patients could be exposed to infectious materials." The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifi es hospital beds as Class I and Class II devices used for patients in acute care, long-term care, or home care settings. Technically, a hospital bed system encompasses the bed frame and its components, including the bed By Kelly M. Pyrek Mitigating Healthcare Hazards as a Risk Management Strategy By Kelly M. Pyrek cover story Ò Healthcare organizations need to take technology safety seriously . T at's why our annual report includes practical solutions that can help prevent patient harm. Ñ James Davis, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, HEM, CIC, FAPIC

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