Resuming surgery: Safety considerations for staff and patients

Tips for getting back to the business of health care

Acute care facilities and surgery centers are poised to resume elective surgeries, some planning to add one specialty at a time while others plan to ramp up with expanded hours and services, seeking to recoup COVID-19 losses. The pressures of lost revenue and fear of COVID-19 exposure—both among patients and staff—combine to amp up the urgency and anxiety among those planning for the return to surgical services. For those in the planning stages, Case Medical offers these suggestions.

Devise a robust cleaning and disinfection protocol

Infection prevention begins with three proven precautions:  requiring all to wear masks, frequent hand washing and hand sanitizer use, and ensuring proper distancing by modifying seating and traffic flows. For additional safety, environmental cleaning and disinfection must be performed.

Strict cleaning and disinfection standards used to be limited to surgical instruments, operating rooms, and patient rooms upon discharge. With the spread of COVID-19, every environment requires careful and frequent cleaning and disinfection. It’s called out in the CDC Standard Precautions, “Clean and disinfect the environment appropriately.” Be sure to train everyone on staff that cleaning and disinfecting are two fundamentally different processes (this infographic-style reference on Cleaning and Disinfection may help).

Product Spotlight: Infection Prevention Cleaning and Disinfecting Kit

Each case contains four 24 oz. bottles of:

Environmental Infection Prevention
  • PentaPrep® Multi-Enzymatic Spray 
    cleaner formulated with multiple enzymes to help break down soils and bioburden, with surfactants to help lift them away

  • CASE Solutions® 70% Denatured Ethyl Alcohol Spray 

    A solution with 70% alcohol is an intermediate level disinfectant that kills enveloped viruses (such as the coronavirus) on hard surfaces in one minute or less.

  • CASE Solutions® Hand Sanitizer
    Hand sanitizer formula based on FDA guidance and WHO recommendations with denatured Ethyl Alcohol

Stock up on critical supplies

Shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) hampered the COVID-19 response and put healthcare providers at risk, shining a light on the shortcomings of a just-in-time supply chain strategy. Consider the business continuity benefits of increasing your base inventory of certain supplies, especially those related in any way to infection prevention and safety.

Certainly, PPE fall in this category, but also consider using rigid containers in place of disposable sterilization wrap, paired with consumables kits that include filters, tamper evident seals, and load cards. We can also supply you with our line of U.S. EPA Safer Choice awarded cleaners and lubricant for reliable, effective, pH neutral instrument cleaning and care. 

Product Spotlight: SteriTite® Containers and Consumables Kits

 Quality construction for cost-effective, versatile, instrument protection

SteriTite Containers and ConsumablesReusable SteriTite containers protect your valuable instruments; reduce effort, waste, and cost associated with sterilization wrap; and are validated for use in all healthcare sterilization modalities (steam, vaporized H2O2, EtO, IUSS).

Sterilization consumables kits bundle filters, tamper evident seals, and load cards so you have everything you need to process instrument sets and keep surgeries on schedule.

Moving ahead

There is no perfect plan to re-open for surgery, but a well thought out plan that prioritizes staff and patient safety is the right place to start. For additional resources, download our paper, “Guidance Essentials: Resuming Elective Surgery,” and review the latest CDC guidance issued in May. Further questions? We invite you to Contact Us.