OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5913

AN ACT CONCERNING PERSONS WHO DECONTAMINATE REUSABLE MEDICAL INSTRUMENTS OR DEVICES.

SUMMARY:

This bill generally requires anyone who practices as a central service technician (CST) to pass a national exam and to be certified or have similar credentials. A CST is someone who decontaminates, inspects, assembles, packages, and sterilizes reusable medical instruments or devices in a health care facility, whether the person is employed by the facility or provides contracted services.

The bill allows those who were employed or contracted for services as a CST in a health care facility before January 1, 2016 to continue to do so without any examination or further credentials. It also exempts certain health-related professions, students, and interns that perform CST tasks or functions from these requirements.

The bill requires CSTs and exempted people, who have been deemed competent to perform CST functions, to annually take 10 hours of continuing education.

Upon a CST's written request, the bill requires a health care facility to verify in writing a CST's employment dates or the contract period when he or she provided health care services.

The bill does not set penalties for CSTs or the facilities that violate these provisions.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2016

QUALIFICATIONS

The bill generally prohibits anyone from practicing as a CST unless he or she demonstrates to the Department of Public Health (DPH) commissioner's satisfaction that he or she has successfully passed a nationally accredited central service exam for CSTs and has certain credentials. The person must hold and maintain one of the following:

1. a certified registered CST credential administered by the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materiel Management;

2. a certified sterile processing and distribution technician credential administered by the Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution, Inc.; or

3. a substantially equivalent credential.

Under the bill, a person certified under option 1 or 2, but who has not passed the national exam, may perform CST functions at a health care facility if he or she obtains and submits documentation of such credential to DPH within two years after the date of hire or contracting with the health care facility.

(The bill does not prescribe the application process or give DPH any specific enforcement powers.)

EXEMPTIONS

The bill allows the following people to perform CST tasks or functions without certification or examination:

1. licensed health care providers;

2. students or interns performing CST functions under a health care provider's direct supervision as part of their training or internship; or

3. those who do not work in a health care facility's central service department (i.e., the department that processes, issues, and controls medical supplies, devices, and equipment for patient care), but who have been specially trained and determined competent to decontaminate or sterilize reusable medical equipment, instruments, or devices, meeting applicable manufacturer's instructions and standards, based on standards set by a health care facility's infection prevention or control committee, acting in consultation with a certified CST (one who has passed the examination or was employed before January 1, 2016).

A health care facility must retain a list of the people determined competent to perform CST functions, including their job titles.

CONTINUING EDUCATION

The bill requires a CST to annually complete at least 10 hours of continuing education in areas related to CST functions. An exempt person determined competent to perform CST functions must also annually complete at least 10 hours of continuing education in areas related to infection control and the decontamination and sterilization of reusable medical equipment, instruments, and devices.

Under the bill, CSTs, and those determined competent to perform CST functions, must submit documentation of their completed continuing education hours to DPH.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Public Health Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

28

Nay

0

(03/25/2015)