top of page

Designing Quality Reprocessing in Sterile Processing

Updated: Mar 10, 2022

With all successful businesses comes a road map for success. The road map includes knowing your customer's needs, wants, and likes. Using key performance indicators (KPI's) to track your performance is a must to know whether your processes are successful or not. Customer feedback is essential, but it is usually retrospective. We need to take a proactive approach to our quality. In the sports world, there is a myriad of statistics that can tell a coach whether the team is functioning well or not, and where each player stands with his or her performance. Although, at the end of the day in sports, the overall score is always the determining factor of success. In CSSD, the determining factor is providing the right item, in the right place, at the right time, and without error. Providing this level of work is known as customer service.

The CSSD department is an "internal" business, and there is also a myriad of statistics that we can use to design our KPI's for reprocessing. Each of the areas in the department contributes to the overall success of the department. Each area also provides insight into how the overall success of the department is met.

KPI's in each area can include:


  • Throughput of trays/instruments

  • Equipment verification tests

  • How trays are received (instruments arriving with a wetting agent)

  • Instrument Cleanliness

  • Proper use of chemicals

Prep and Pack:

  • Tray quality checks

  • Missing instruments or incomplete sets

  • Throughput of trays/instruments

  • Tray/Instrument turn arounds (due to the lack of inventory)

  • Broken instruments

  • Rigid container integrity


  • Equipment verification test

  • Sterilization failures

  • Immediate use sterilization loads

  • Early release

  • Load Arrangement

  • Tray weight

Storage areas:

  • Outdates

  • Event related issues

  • Cleaning logs

  • Temperature/Humidity

User area:

  • Tray errors (with what type of error)

  • Case delays

Designing quality by using key performance indicators drives change. A quality assurance program can be designed to measure KPI's at various intervals (monthly, quarterly, annually, etc.). The number of data points collected will determine how fast one can react to their data. Set a metric in place and start measuring. The number of metrics tracked will be decided by the capability of each department. There are several models of design to help evaluate and design change. PDSA (Plan, Do, Study, Act) and DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) are just a couple.

In conclusion, the lists for each area are not meant to be exhaustive. If you are reading this article, I implore you to add to the list of KPI possibilities by adding your comments to the article. The more ideas that each of us has, the better off our customers will be.

At Evolved Sterile Processing, our consultants have a greater focus on sterile processing. With our decades of experience, we will help you develop better processes and educational resources for your staff.

16 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page