Keep Loaner Trays Straight
When loaner trays come out of the mechanical washers, putting the sets back together can be confusing, especially when there are multiple trays with multiple levels. We have a simple system for tagging the trays and levels as they come in: We attach large paper clips wrapped with instrument tape of various colors to the tags that lie inside the trays. Then we know on the pack side that all of the "blue" paper-clipped levels (1, 2 and 3, for example) go together in one tray. We repeat this same taping sequence on the handwritten loaner paperwork. This saves a ton of time and frustration, especially when your washers are full of loaner trays. This process lets the decontam staff as well as the staff assigned to the clean side know at a glance which levels match up with which particular tray. Of course, we never pack the tags with the trays they're only a tool for central sterile staff. Once the tray packer has his tray ready to assemble, he sets aside the tags and places them back in the bin for use the next time around.