It’s been a little over a year since Penn Medicine in Philadelphia opened its Interventional Support Center (ISC), one of the largest instrument reprocessing facilities in the country. Eighty reprocessing techs work in the 110,000-square-foot space to sterilize thousands of instruments each day, everything from basic scissors and clamps to more advanced robotic tools. “Sending instruments to a centralized facility alleviates space concerns at our clinical locations, providing the breathing room hospital departments need to expand their services,” says Chris Pastore, managing director of the center.
Penn Medicine’s decision to move instrument reprocessing to a single location has freed up more beds for direct patient care. It’s part of an emerging trend as large health systems and independent ASCs weigh the pros and cons of building their own offsite reprocessing centers or partnering with an existing service.
More healthcare providers in the U.S. are expected to opt into third-party instrument care services in the next few years, according to a report from Frost & Sullivan, a research and consulting firm in San Antonio. MarketGlass, a market intelligence platform, says the global sterilization services market is expected to almost double from $2.8 billion in 2020 to more than $4 billion by 2027.
Exploring new solutions to instrument reprocessing is important for surgery centers and health systems that are seeing a steady uptick in demand for outpatient surgeries. Those that have implemented offsite reprocessing programs are realizing wide-ranging benefits, from streamlined instrument care to increased surgical capacity.