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Ergonomics in CSSD

Updated: Mar 10, 2022


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Creating an ergonomically friendly designed department in the Central Sterile Supply Department can increase your staff's satisfaction, improve production, and reduce injuries.


The Decontamination Area


Designing a workflow in the decontamination area that drives instruments toward their final destination, usually, a washer/disinfector, reduces instrumentation's overall manual transportation. Utilize your sink orientation to align with your washer/disinfectors and the flow of work to bring the product closer to the staging area with each step of the process. Orient your ultrasonic units to the flow of your washbasins to reduce carrying and lifting instrumentation. Select sinks with an electric height adjustment to alleviate bending while cleaning instruments. Build supply storage that is within easy reach of the workspace. Consider auto-dosing devices to reduce lifting of detergent containers when preparing sinks for processing instruments. For a final touch, improve the ergonomics of decontamination by adding an auto-loading accessory to your washer-disinfectors.


The Preparation and Packaging Area


In the preparation and packaging area, height-adjustable workstations with sliding work surfaces reduce reaching and improve posture when preparing instrumentation and aids in wrapping. Computers with adjustable monitor arms help improve viewing and can help relieve eye strain. Place printer stands in easy access areas and close to the workstation to reduce wasted motion. Utilizing transportation carts to move instrumentation to staging areas or workstations reduces strain from carrying trays. Finally, design your workstation with easy to reach supplies.


The Sterilization Area/ Sterile Storage


In high production CSSD departments, floor loading sterilizers fit well into an ergonomically designed department. The sterilization racks can be used as transportation carts in the preparation and packaging area and staging worksurfaces to hold both prepared products awaiting sterilization and instruments awaiting inspection. Another benefit is after sterilization; the cart can be used as a transportation cart moving instruments to sterile storage, which can help minimize lifting. Sterilizers with auto loading and unloading features reduce the pushing and pulling of sterilization racks. Sterile storage racks designed with incorporated sliding shelves eases placement of instrument trays. Place heavier instrument sets on middle shelves for easy lifting. Lastly, add highly used products closer to access areas.


Ergonomically design departments can improve outcomes without adding other inputs. It's a win-win situation. Look at your design and pick out individual processes that you can improve. Utilize your staff for input and create lasting change.



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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