Where do Sterile Processing professionals go to have conversations that no one else is having? How do we access subject matter expertise from around the globe on the issues that matter to frontline technicians, department leaders, and the manufacturers who support us? Who is out there combatting myths and misconceptions on a regular basis? How do we hear about the people, processes, and products that are pushing our industry forward? These are the kinds of questions that set in motion the industry-shaking movement that would become Beyond Clean.
But it all started much smaller than that. On a recommendation from a friend, co-founder and veteran podcaster Justin Poulin sent the following Linkedin message to a random guy (Hank Balch, who would later become the other co-founder):
JUN 21, 2017
Justin Poulin sent the following message at 7:48 PM
I've been following your activity on LinkedIn and really appreciate the engagement you are getting from the SPD community. Have you ever thought about doing a podcast?
Hank Balch sent the following message at 10:51 PM
Justin, the thought has "briefly" crossed my mind before. But then I thought about producing, editing, and marketing the podcast and I wilted underneath the pressure, lol. It's still something I think would be a blast and well-received by the industry, but definitely not something I could do by myself. What do you have in mind?
JUN 22, 2017
Justin Poulin sent the following message at 12:13 AM
I have been doing it in sports since 2003 and have a lot of partners. I'm interested in doing it for healthcare, and we'd probably only need to log onto SKYPE with a decent headset. I could get the rest of the work completed for us or do it myself. The key is making the commitment and figuring out what schedule we can support for content. Weekly is best, but 52 topics isn't always easy to flesh out. The preferred length for the show is 20min so it might not be that hard, especially if we established guests and focused on best practices over various topics...
Hank Balch sent the following message at 7:58 AM
You're speaking my language. Can you send me a link to your sports stuff so I can hear what you got? We can totally pull this off.
Justin Poulin sent the following message at 8:29 AM
The show I do is called Celtics Stuff Live. Back in 2006 I secured media credentials for the Boston Celtics while I was still working as a nurse. I took several years off when I was transitioning to sales, but have been back at it for 18mos.
JUN 23, 2017
Hank Balch sent the following message at 5:53 PM
Dude, this is great. I'm in. Is there like a "Podcasting for Dummies" book I should checkout? I've got enough content topics on the blog already to last 18 months at least - not counting any other interviews, etc.
Justin Poulin sent the following message at 5:59 PM
Let's set up a call to discuss next week. I'm thinking we should practice a few without publishing. I can send you the files afterwards to listen to and share with close friends. That will give us some time to establish a rapport before we put it out to the masses. How does that sound?
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Downloads from the first month of the Beyond Clean podcast in August of 2017 totaled 500 listeners, but included a whopping 19 different countries tuning in from around the globe. Interest and excitement around this new platform for Sterile Processing networking and engagement skyrocketed. By the end of 2019, monthly reach had exceed 15,000+ Sterile Processing professionals and extended to over 135 countries.
More than a Podcast:
Consulting, Mentorship, & Conferences
One of the keys to the early success of Beyond Clean was that it was never just about a podcast. This was about an industry -- and connecting individuals through innovative, and disruptive platforms such as podcasting, social media, and new technology -- to enable Sterile Processing teams to #FightDirty, better, safer, and smarter.
In early 2018, Beyond Clean began offering consulting services to Sterile Processing departments in need of regulatory assessments, accreditation preparedness, processing improvement opportunities, and quality reviews. Our team of consultants partnered with hospitals, surgery centers, and clinics from around the country to identify risks and equip their Sterile Processing teams to succeed in the high calling of patient safety- every instrument, every time.
Throughout 2018 and early 2019, interim management and education services were added to support facilities in need of temporary leadership and targeted clinical education in SPD departments. In collaboration with our strategic partner Alpha Consulting Inc., we were able to extend service coverage to Operating Room leadership and perioperative consulting needs as well. Other innovative offerings included creating the first ever global Sterile Processing Speakers Bureau, hosting live debate-style "Myth Busting" events at major conferences, and creating a Sterile Processing YouTube channel.
In the fall of 2019, Beyond Clean announced their ground-breaking remote consulting and mentorship program that would allow regular access to nationally known Sterile Processing leaders and consultants to provide mentorship support and consulting services for a fraction of the cost of onsite service providers. New supervisors, managers, and directors would now have the opportunity to take part in weekly sessions and learn best practices, leadership concepts, and improvement tools from some of the biggest names in the industry.
November 2019 also marked the first ever Beyond Clean conference series hosted in Houston, Texas. This event marked the beginning of a nation-wide plan to bring disruptive education and collaborative networking between Sterile Processing and Perioperative professionals, created in partnership with the Competency & Credentialing Institute (CCI) who provides certifications such as the CNOR (Certified Perioperative Nurse) and CSSM (Certified Surgical Services Manager).
As the Beyond Clean mission continued to expand, there have been a growing number of opportunities for the Sterile Processing industry and users to benefit from our extensive network and diverse consultative resources.
Our global and Regional OR/SPD conference series didn't slow down because of the pandemic. Instead, we invested in a digital event platform that allows live and on-demand viewing of our forward-thinking educational events. We rolled out new audio/video resources to highlight the people, processes, and products that are pushing the Sterile Processing industry forward -- through film projects such as "Beyond the Tour" and creative "Vendor Spotlight" podcast episodes. Leveraging the power of social media to change our industry will continue to be the epicenter of our approach to reaching both professionals and the public in this mission to keep patients safer.
In the fall of 2021, we released the Sterile Processing industry's first ever Microcredential on cross-contamination in collaboration with The Competency & Credentialing Institute. Developed and instructed by Lisa McKown, this multidisciplinary activity is unlike any other our industry has seen.
Hank Balch and Justin Poulin also launched the First Case Media Podcast, Transmission Control Podcast, and the Power Supply Podcast to serve operating room, infection prevention and supply chain professionals.
2022 will be the year that our newly formed Beyond Clean Advisory Group (BCAG) will be instrumental in helping our vendor partners gather insights surrounding innovation and best practice. This group of nearly 100 clinical users hand-selected by Beyond Clean is ready to change the industry.
Live microconferences and Sterile Processing think tanks will take center stage as we continue to innovate and develop ways to infuse the industry with thought leadership and technological advancements in partnership with healthcare manufacturers and service providers.
With over 120 years of combined experience in the Sterile Processing and Perioperative industries, our team at Beyond Clean will continue to lead the charge for best practice, networking, and growth for professionals in surgical services, each and every day.