Keeping Instruments Moist

by Expert Advice

Keeping Instruments Moist

by Expert Advice

by Expert Advice

Keeping instruments moist has been a topic we’ve encountered for many years.

In fact, we have examined numerous reports that include enzymatic product mandates. We’ve seen organizations that use them during the pre-cleaning phase but fail to apply that product in the patient care area penalized. But, now that’s changing.

Keeping Instruments Moist

The Joint Commission ended both of these prior mandates.

The recent issue of Perspectives now states:

“There is no requirement that an enzymatic product must be used.”

They also state:

“Application of a spray, or other method used to keep instruments moist, may occur once the instruments reach a soiled utility area rather than in the procedure room to avoid patient exposure to spray.”

In fact, information provided at Executive Briefings state that the manufacturers should use IFU for keeping instruments moist. But, absent of specific advice, you could choose the inexpensive option of a moist towel.

The Most Important Requirement

The most important new requirement is on the last page of this article. It stipulates surveyors state one of the following:

  • Manufacturer’s IFU
  • Evidence-based guideline adopted by the organization
Then, it must include specific examples of noncompliance with those guidelines.

By itself, that level of detail will help reduce inappropriate RFI’s. This is especially true when organizations go searching for some reference to quantify what the surveyor stated.

Here’s the good news. Going forward, the 74% scoring rate for IC.02.02.01 reported in the September issue of Perspectives, should reduce significantly. For the first time in a long time, we actually saw a report this week with no RFI’s at that standard. At the same time, this new approach may anger readers who have had an adverse decision with the old orthodoxy. It is definitely a fresh approach and will likely lead to much better documentation and clarity of findings in the future.

Do you need assistance interpreting and implementing these or other Joint Commission guidelines? Patton Healthcare Consulting provides Joint Commission Compliance Assistance and a full range of pre-survey and post survey services to healthcare organizations. Contact us to learn more.


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