Joint Commission issues guidance on packaged sterile supplies

The Joint Commission released last week guidance for managing and storing packaged sterile supplies and devices within health care facilities to protect patients from infection and other harm from expired or compromised supplies and devices. Health care facilities should educate staff to recognize the labeling used for supplies and devices, including stand-alone symbols and their meanings, according to the guidance. The guidance also said that health care facilities should use a hierarchal approach to prevent infections for packaged sterile supplies and devices. Staff should recognize when a commercially prepared sterile medical device would be inappropriate to use, as well as to know where to find the instruction for use information should someone have a question or concern. The guidance also suggested that health care organizations may want to use posters as quick references to explain stand-alone symbols. (Joint Commission Quick Safety and Advisory, 6/28/22)