As surgical procedures, instruments and devices continue to advance, Central Sterile/Sterile Processing Department (CS/SPD) processes and equipment must evolve as well. Yesterday’s decontamination, cleaning and sterilization practices simply can’t accommodate the complexity and volume of today’s surgical and medical services.

Whether building a new CS/SPD or renovating an existing space, hospitals have access to a broad range of innovations to maximize output, optimize performance, streamline workflow and ensure high quality reprocessing services.

Investing in IFUs
Because the CS/SPD is viewed as a cost center rather than a revenue generator, it can be hard to convince hospital leaders to invest in the department, according to Mary Olivera, MHA, CRCST, CHL, FCS, oneSOURCE Consultant & President and CEO of OSPECS Consulting.

“More than ever the operating room (OR) demands a quicker turnaround time for surgical instruments, which as a result requires SPD teams to be as productive and efficient as possible” said Olivera. “Today, most (CS/SPD) departments function using obsolete equipment, processes and facility designs that make it very difficult to perform the simplest tasks. The benefits of applying new technology can be rewarding - improving productivity and process quality - and ultimately keep patients and staff safe and healthy.”

Olivera points to the following innovations as being the “highest need” in the CS/SPD today:
• Online instructions for use (IFU) databases
• Ergonomic equipment
• High-capacity reprocessing equipment
• Cleaning verification and performance qualification technology based on the device manufacturers’ IFU
• Water filtration systems
• Process traceability technology

“Following the reprocessing equipment IFU helps the department maximize the loads and optimize cycles to increase turnaround time” Olivera added. “Understanding the process listed on the cleaning verification products ensures the technician identifies bioburden left on the instruments and therefore delivers a high quality product. Being able to find updated instructions for cleaning, disinfecting and sterilizing for a medical device quickly streamlines the process and potentially prevents patient harm.”

Olivera notes how oneSOURCE savestime and streamlines workflow in the CS / SPD. In addition, it allows teams to maintain compliance 24/7 and arms them with the most updated IFU and preventative maintenance (PM) service manuals needed to accomplish the increasingly difficult objectives these departments face.