Aclean set of instruments is a basic need for any operat- ing room, but experts say there’s a common discon- nect between the operating room (OR) and central
sterile. Since both departments need to be able to function
smoothly with efficiency, experts in instrument sterilization
pointed out some solutions to problems to break down the
barriers and possible frustration.
Cases are delayed, because sets are
always late or something is missing.
Alison Behn, sales and technical director of Micro-Scientific,
pointed out this might be a systematic issue that needs to be
addressed at a higher level. Often, facilities don’t have enough
employees to meet the demand the central sterile department
experiences, she explained, adding that another person can
make a big difference to workload and resulting performance.
Sets can also be late, because they’re hard to clean,
Laura Buford, RN, BSN, CIC, chair of the Association
for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology’s
(APIC) communication committee, said: “I think the biggest thing is to make sure sets get down to central sterile in a
prompt fashion.” If this happens and the large particulates
are wiped off immediately following the case, the matter
won’t dry and harden onto the instruments, which means
the sets are easier to clean, she explained. This speeds up
turnover. Ed Nuber, group product director of sterile technology at Aesculap, added that instruments cannot be effectively sterilized if they are not cleaned properly first. These
extra steps can take time surgical teams don’t have, but,
Buford said, if it’s a facility expectation, then both departments will be happier.
by Rebecca Rudolph, editor
For more, see SOLUTIONS on page 26
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