AAMI is a leader in the creation and dissemination of medical standards. Its members look to them for the official word in medical instrumentation processes and healthcare standards. Sensing that its sterile processing community needed a better understanding of the policies and procedures being used by their peers, AAMI decided to offer a benchmarking platform for this subset of its membership.
With over 130 questions, the original AAMI platform launched for data collection in 2010 and thoroughly examined the policies, procedures, staffing and best practices of sterile processing departments within hospital facilities. It was met with great response from the membership and has been a vital resource to AAMI sterile processing members for over seven years.
Since its original deployment, AAMI has revised the survey to reflect feedback from members and to take advantage of new technology released by Dynamic Benchmarking. In 2017, AAMI undertook a major overhaul of the study by eliminating almost half the questions and restructuring the entire platform to add monthly analysis and more closely reflect the industry today. Two highly-respected industry subject matter experts were engaged to work closely with the AAMI and Dynamic Benchmarking teams to revise the study questions and identify which essential data points to measure.
A systematic culling process was used to review each question and look at how each data point was used, or not used, by study participants. Questions were categorized into annual (answer once per year) and monthly (answer every month), with all monthly data points rolling up into a series of five calculations to provide immediate insight on the staffing and throughput of a department using the new Dynamic Benchmarking Trend Reports.
Based on member demand, a new group of questions regarding immediate sterilization practices was also added to the survey. And while the focus was definitely on present and future improvements, all data collected on the old platform was preserved and remains available for all who participated in the past.
“Sterile processing professionals are under constant pressure to increase their productivity while maintaining a high quality standard,” says Michelle Bush, Product Marketing Manager for AAMI. “The new SPB platform lets them measure these data points more frequently so they can operate as more agile organizations.”
AAMI launched and promoted the revamped platform at the recent International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management (IAHCSMM) Expo. IAHCSMM is a sponsor of the AAMI platform and an important organization in the sterilization processing industry. They serve the needs of healthcare Central Service (CS) professionals worldwide – the individuals responsible for cleaning, decontaminating, sterilizing, and distributing medical and surgical instrumentation. The AAMI staff conducted demos of the new platform which generated much interest and many inquiries. Feedback to date from survey participants has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Our members are very active and continuously provide feedback,” adds Bush. “What’s great about Dynamic Benchmarking is that it’s a living platform that allows us to respond to that feedback as quickly as we receive it.”
AAMI plans to continue conducting online demos of the survey to promote participation. The association also encourages discussion and interaction among members through an online community that’s tied to the study.
“We’ve found the online community to be a great form of member engagement,” Bush continues. “It encourages participation in the study and also offers an added benefit of peer interaction and support.”