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Simplify Reprocessing in CSSD

Updated: Mar 10, 2022


Light bulb - Thought of the Week

With a concentration of efforts being placed on IFU's during CMS inspections, to simplify processes in the Central Sterile Supply Department (CSSD), a concerted effort should be made to standardized reprocessing guidelines when purchasing products that will be reprocessed. IFU's can vary significantly from manufacturer to manufacturer of like products. Reprocessing parameters that are inconsistent from product to product create risk and non-compliance with the guidelines being followed.


Matching products with similar reprocessing guidelines reduce waste and time. Reprocessing instrument parameters need to match the guidelines of:

> the chemicals used in decontamination

> ultrasonic timeframes

> the reprocessing guidelines for the washer/disinfector

> packaging guidelines (such as rigid container sterilization guidelines)

> sterilization cycles

> storage


It seems like a no-brainer that processes would align. However, often it is not the case. Instrument manufacturers have guidelines that vary in minimum sterilization timeframes and dry times. Worse yet, some manufactures give exact ranges for the reprocessing of their products eliminating flexibility in reprocessing. Variations from manufacturers can eliminate the co-mingling of instruments when packaging and sterilizing sets. Variations may even create mismatches with your OEM washer/disinfector and sterilization parameters.


The storage of products is another area of concern. Event-Related parameters are going by the wayside, with most IFUs now listing standards for storage length. Matching parameters for your packaging is critical. Designing a standard practice of storage allows for an efficient quality control process.


Take the time to get involved in the materials management process. Being present in the purchasing process can eliminate headaches later on.



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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