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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 17, 2014 02:48 PM
From: Representative Mauree Gingrich
To: All House members
Subject: Central Service Technicians Certification Act
I am preparing to re-introduce legislation that will require all central service technicians in health care facilities to obtain certification using national sterile processing standards and to meet continuing education requirements.

The level of concern regarding hospital-based infection is rising, particularly as infections become more drug resistant. One of the challenges with hospital-based infections is the use of medical equipment that has not been properly sterilized. Central service technicians are responsible for sterilizing all durable medical equipment; specifically reusable medical devices used on a daily basis. Many are complicated robotic instruments. The costs for infection treatment, increasing mortality rates, and rising liability are putting greater emphasis on prevention.

In Pennsylvania, persons responsible for processing and sterilizing surgical equipment are often entry-level employees with little education and training. At present, the Commonwealth does not require central service technicians to be certified or undergo continuing education in sterile processing techniques. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have published guidelines for sterilization and disinfection of health care facilities, the absence of a specific law leaves hospitals to establish their own procedures. It is critical that physicians be able to perform surgery without fear of patient safety and that patients can trust the equipment used will not complicate their circumstances for being hospitalized in the first place.

With the cost of hospital-based infections being so high, prevention is key. Certification will lead to a higher level of competency and patient care, and continuing education will ensure that those high standards are maintained.

Please join me in sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB985