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Building Equipment Redundancy in CSSD

Updated: Mar 10, 2022

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Equipment redundancy in the Central Sterile Supply Department (CSSD) comes at the cost of capital dollars, operational costs, or lost revenue. It can also cost patient safety.

CSSD's who have failed to build-in proper redundancies suffer production shortfalls. Overtaxed equipment result in increased breakdowns. Increased turn-around times can alter OR schedules, which in turn can hurt the facility financially. Quality of your patient care becomes a risk when redundancies are not in place.

Failures with washer/disinfectors can result in the manual reprocessing of surgical instruments. The failure can increase the need for additional staffing and reduce standardized processes. Failure of standardized cleaning processes can increase infection transmission rates.

Failures with autoclaves can create production slowdowns, and result in the staff handling sterile items in the cooling phase to increase turn-over. Ultimately, increasing the risk of contamination to the packages due to improper handling.

Failure with specialty sterilizers (e.g., low-temp sterilizers) can result in items needing to be transported to other facilities to be reprocessed.

Often, CSSD departments are designed without the proper redundancies put in place. Though-put is not examined as a determining factor on how it will affect patient care when the department's equipment is not fully functional. CSSD equipment can run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for one unit. Operating room time runs in the thousands of dollars for each hour. Equipment repair is expensive and time-consuming, and often demotivating for the staff in CSSD. Infection transmission to your patients' has no dollar value until the court decides. Save your money and build redundancies in CSSD.

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.

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