CHA News Article

CMS Updates Guidance on “Flash” Sterilization

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a Survey and Certification Memo updating its guidance for the use of “flash” sterilization. The memo is intended to assist surveyors when they assess a hospital, critical access hospital or ambulatory surgical center for compliance with Medicare’s sterilization standards for surgical settings. The guidance notes a change in terminology — as recommended by nationally recognized organizations with expertise in infection control — from “flash” sterilization to “immediate use steam sterilization” (IUSS). The memo also reiterates and updates information on nationally recognized infection prevention and control guidelines and professionally acceptable standards of practice with respect to IUSS.