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TECH Talk: Infection Prevention and Control - SPD’s MVP (Most Valuable Partner)

07.03.2019 • Industry News

In the wake of the 2019 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) Conference, I’m reminded of how incredibly valuable a strong relationship between the sterile processing department (SPD) and infection prevention and control (IPC) can be.

Often times, IPC are viewed as the hand hygiene police and nothing else. Although creating and enforcing hand hygiene programs is an important facet of infection prevention and control, many sterile processing professionals don’t realize the impact of a strong relationship with IPC. In fact, research presented at the 2019 APIC conference showed that collaboration between SPD and IPC contributed to significant increases in SPD audit scores and reduction in bioburden events. 1

Here are a few ways to improve collaboration between SPD and IPC in your facility:
  • Invite infection prevention and control to attend SPD team meetings
  • Work with IPC to expand their knowledge of SPD processes and practices 
  • Perform an observational department audit with IPC to identify gaps in SPD processes
  • Create a quality improvement project in partnership with IPC
I think we can all agree that collaboration between SPD and IPC can lead to a more effective sterile processing department, and improved patient safety. My challenge to you is to foster a culture of collaboration and build a stronger relationship with SPD’s MVP - infection prevention and control.

TECH TALK Tip: Check out this article outlining how collaboration between IPC and SPD can improve patient safety. Click here!
Brandon VanHee, GTS
Clinical Education Manager, Key Surgical 

1 “A Tale of Two Departments: How Collaboration Between Infection Prevention and Sterile Processing Departments Can Improve Patient Safety,” Oral Abstract, Friday, June 14, 2019, APIC 2019,  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.