In the past few weeks, the much anticipated ANSI/AAMI ST79 was released at about the same time ANSI/AAMI ST 90 (The Quality Standard) was released. I can remember waiting for the update of ST35 many years ago when I was still managing a Sterile Processing Department. If you were like me with the standards, there are four words that really gave direction on how to interpret and implement the standards.
With these new documents just being released, I think it is time to do a quick review of the four words that helped me understand how to implement standards within my practice in the departments I was responsible for.
"Shall" indicates requirements strictly to be followed to conform to the standard.
"Should" indicates that among several possibilities one is recommended as particularly suitable, without mentioning or excluding others.
"May" is used to indicate that a course of action is permissible within the limits of the standard.
"Must" is used only to describe "unavoidable" situations, including those mandated by government regulation.
Within the new ST79, the word "should" is used for verifying all cleaning equipment and the cart washer is listed as a piece of cleaning equipment. It has been my experience that this vital piece of cleaning equipment has not been challenged the way our sonic and instrument washers have been.
What is interesting is that now many of the newer models of cart washers have both a non-instrument as well as an instrument cycle, and they both need to be verified. Along with making sure you reach your disinfection temperature.
To help you ensure your cart washer is working properly, Healthmark at this time is the only company that has a complete line of verification products to help you achieve the "should" when it comes to verifying that your cart washer is functioning properly.
As I say "Keep it Clean", and one way to ensure that you are, is to verify your cart washer is working properly with a verification product that has been designed for that purpose. Call us today and talk with a Healthmark professional to help you implement a process to ensure your cart washer is performing properly.