FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Beyond Clean Taskforce Calls for Update to CDC Disinfection and Sterilization Guidelines
May 5, 2023
In the spirit of advancing healthcare safety in the area of device disinfection and sterilization, the Beyond Clean Advisory Group has formed a taskforce of 70+ frontline clinicians to address the need for updated CDC sterilization and disinfection guidelines. The taskforce aims to improve patient outcomes related to medical device reprocessing and support the wider community of infection prevention and Sterile Processing.
This Beyond Clean CDC Taskforce has written an Open Letter to Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to advocate for an update to the current guidelines. The taskforce believes that incorporating the most current evidence of best practice will strengthen international adherence to these critical guidelines.
"This open letter is the culmination of years of clinical coordination and months of collaboration with frontline Sterile Processing professionals to develop proposed revisions to the CDC guidance by providing recommendations that align with national Healthcare-Associated Infection (HAI) prevention goals," explains Beyond Clean president, Hank Balch. "This effort is in response to the CDC's recent initiative to "reset" its organizational approach for improved responsiveness to public health interests -- in other words, now is the time to make these changes." The taskforce has identified high-priority, critical areas within the existing document that need revision, as well as gaps that must be addressed to ensure patient safety.
Emerging threats such as growing antimicrobial resistance and novel pathogens underscore the need for updated sterilization and disinfection guidelines. The Beyond Clean taskforce has coordinated a workgroup specifically tasked with reviewing the current language of the guidelines and providing recommendations focused on improving patient outcomes.
The taskforce acknowledges that this initial effort may not address all areas identified, but it is a crucial starting point for an open dialogue that can drive future improvements. "We anticipate that these recommendations will serve as a working document to initiate necessary changes that better align the guidelines with current scientific evidence," explains Lisa Wakeman, Manager for Research & Development at Beyond Clean and one of the task force directors. Wakeman, along with over 70 other active signatories from frontline clinicians, urge the CDC to take action now to begin a broader dialogue with current users in the field .
The CDC, as a global health leader, has a unique opportunity to improve patient outcomes related to medical device reprocessing by advocating for the most current scientific evidence. By aligning its resources and guidance with the broader community of infection prevention and Sterile Processing, the CDC can promote a cohesive message that strengthens the link between evidence and practice.
To learn more about the Beyond Clean Advisory Group and their work on the 2008 CDC Disinfection and Sterilization Guidelines Taskforce, please read the full open letter and tables here.
About Beyond Clean Advisory Group
The Beyond Clean Advisory Group is a collective of frontline clinicians dedicated to advancing healthcare safety through research, innovation, and collaboration. They work to promote best practices and raise awareness of critical issues in the field of infection prevention and Sterile Processing.
Hank Balch, President
Beyond Clean & Beyond Clean Advisory Group