The International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM) held its annual conference April 27 – May 1, 2019 in Anaheim, California. A record-breaking total of 1,540 Central Service/Sterile Processing (CS/SP) professionals attended the five-day event. The conference theme was “A Fresh Perspective” and attendees were provided with information to enhance existing skills, develop new skills and network with the goal of developing a fresh perspective on the field of sterile processing.
The program began with a full day of pre-conference activities. Attendees were able to practice hands-on skills and attend Short Sessions on robotic instrumentation, endoscopes, packaging, decontamination, brush selection and brushing technique. Short Sessions were also offered on professional writing and advocacy. Half-day sessions were offered on CS Management, CS Education and Self-Development. As a new feature this year, a discussion room was opened that enabled attendees to meet to discuss specific professional issues.
On Sunday, April 28, the main programs began. Scientific program topics included: An Update on The Joint Commission; Infection Prevention; Leveraging Scientific Evidence to Improve the Quality of Endoscope Reprocessing; Designing and Implementing Preventive Maintenance Programs; Ultrasound Probe Reprocessing; Water Quality; Steam Quality; Unique Device Identifiers (UDI); AAMI and AORN Updates; High-level Disinfection; Biofilm; Surfaces Changes on Medical Devices; Incident Investigation of Surgical Instrument and Medical Equipment Contamination; Sterilization of Flexible Endoscopes; Chemical Management in CS; Point-of-use Care and Transportation of Contaminated Surgical Instruments; and more.
The program also included a presentation called "Through a Surgeon’s Eyes.” Dr. Beth Thomas, a general surgeon, discussed the real impact that CS/SP has on the Operating Room and the patients they serve. The session provided attendees with a unique perspective on the impact of delays and errors and their role as a part of the surgical team.
The IAHCSMM Annual Conference began and ended with keynote speakers, both of whom provided attendees with fresh perspectives on relationships, service, self-development and teamwork.
Education was not limited to the conference rooms. The Exhibit Hall featured 151 different vendors and over 1,100 company representatives and clinical educators to provide information and education to attendees. Also included in the Exhibit Hall were over 80 educational posters submitted by CS/SP professionals.
There were many opportunities to network during the conference. Two evening receptions were held, along with daily luncheons. The casual atmosphere encouraged discussion and enabled participants to reconnect with old friends and make new ones. The conference concluded with the changing of IAHCSMM Presidents. IAHCSMM President Damien Berg completed his term and passed the gavel to Anthony Thurmond who will serve as Association President until 2020.
Planning has already begun for the 2020 IAHCSMM Annual Conference & Expo in Chicago, Illinois. IAHCSMM invites all CS/SP professionals to attend as the 2020 conference comes “home” to Chicago, IAHCSMM’s headquarter city.