Contaminated Instruments frequently take a one to two-hour trip from the end of treatment to the start of soak time in Central Processing. Meanwhile blood and other soils are drying to create biofilm and corrosion. The challenge for the healthcare facility is creating a team process to prevent formation of dried soils and biofilm on reusable medical devices and instruments. This problem affects many departments including surgical, cardiac catheterization, endoscopy, dental and ophthalmic care. Time becomes the enemy along with blood, fats and cements. Salts in blood soil can start corrosion on some types of metals within 10 minutes. Dried orthopedic cement becomes impossible to remove from reamers after one to two hours. The healthcare facility needs special tactics to improve patient safety through point of use care:
Compliance with point of use care will affect scheduling and productivity so management support is essential.
Deliver training and supplies to all point of use departments coordinated by nurse educators, infection preventionists and sterile processing managers.
It is critical to routinely wipe off or flush soils DURING surgical and clinical procedures with sterile water and sponges.
If transport delay is frequently over one hour, coverage with wet towels may not prevent corrosion. Select a point of use treatment spray tested and validated to provide anti-corrosives and effective enzyme action.
Use OSHA biohazard compliant transport containers with solid sides, bottom and lids.