The proper cleaning and sterilization of microsurgical instruments is an essential part of safe patient care, but its importance can be overlooked by busy surgeons and frontline staff. That’s somewhat understandable. Many members of the surgical team don’t understand the numerous protocols that must be followed to make sure the tools are sterilized according to regulatory standards. “The gap that we tend to run into is caused by unrealistic expectations,” says Farris Williams, AS, BSHA, MHA, CRCST, CSPDM, manager of the sterile processing department at UC Health Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs, Colo. “There’s often a misunderstanding of what we actually do on a daily basis.”
Reemphasizing the key steps in proper instrument care for everyone involved in the process will help to clear up the confusion and ensure the job is done right.