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CAHO and 3M India launch Awareness Compliance Excellence (ACE) programme

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ACE programme aims to improve competency of Central Sterile Supply Department (CSSD) in Indian hospitals

With the ongoing second wave of COVID-19 and the looming threat of the third wave, it has become imperative for any healthcare facility to attain zero infection. The Central Sterile Supply Department (CSSD) is one of the critical avenues that help healthcare facilities attain this goal. CSSD is an in-house department within a hospital which is responsible for the supply of the clean and sterile instruments used within the hospital for various procedures.

The Consortium of Accredited Healthcare Organizations (CAHO) has launched the ACE programme as a quality improvement initiative in association with 3M India that serves as the technical guidance partner in this initiative.

According to a statement, CAHO has decided to take up this challenge and to raise the competency of the CSSD setups across hospitals in India. The challenge is huge given the fact that the team/technicians here have not undergone any structured training programme designed around this department and thus making it difficult for them to address the gaps in protocol adherence.

Rajiv Gupta, Country Business Leader – Healthcare Business group, 3M India, said, “3M is delighted to launch ACE programme for the healthcare facilities. ACE is well-defined quality improvement programme and caters to CSSD process improvement in the healthcare facilities, along with the CSSD teams’ learning requirements. The overall programme’s objective is to make the CSSD team aware of the gaps in the current process and people’s knowledge of the process and bridge the gap. The timing of the launch is just right. Our country is in the midst of the second wave of the pandemic and the entire healthcare industry is sensitised and willing to take concrete steps towards preventing infections.”

ACE programme stands for Awareness-Compliance-Excellence and is an year-long programme that has multiple phases of engagement with the participant hospitals across the year. The first is the awareness phase that aims at educating the CSSD team on the standards and support them to adopt the best practices in accordance with the international sterilisation guidelines. The second phase, compliance, is when CAHO auditors visit the participant hospitals and perform audits to suggest the gaps that could be bridged to improve the efficiency of the CSSD department. The final phase of excellence is about recognising the hospitals that have the best adopted standards, as per recommendations and guidelines. The hospitals will receive recognition directly from CAHO which will be announced at CAHO’s Annual Conference in 2022 (CAHOCON 2022).

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Vijay Agarwal, President, CAHO, said, “Awareness Compliance and Excellence (ACE) programme will be a game-changer in promoting hospitals to adopt the best practices in their CSSD department, and in training the personnel. This, in turn, will play a role in enhancing patient safety by decreasing hospital acquired infections.”

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