Ideas That Work: Sterile Processing

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Double-Check Instrument Trays


Reprocessing techs in our hospital who prepare instrument sets for sterilization use a seven-point checklist to ensure trays have been properly assembled. The checklist helps techs ensure instrument sets are loaded properly, organized and chemical indicators are in place. A tech who assembles a tray signs their initials to the form. A second tech reviews the conditions of the tray and signs their name on the "quality check" line if all the elements on the checklist have been completed. The sheet is sent with the instrument set to the OR, so members of the surgical team can jot down their feedback — both good and bad — about the condition of the instruments, which is then shared with members of the reprocessing staff. It's sterile processing's version of the time out surgical teams perform before every procedure and has improved the accuracy and condition of the instrument sets our sterile processing department sends to the ORs. The completed checklists and feedback collected from the OR also serve as documentation of our reprocessing staff's performance that can be compiled into quality reports.

Steve Johnson
Rogue Regional Medical Center
Medford, Ore.
[email protected]

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