A Systematic Approach to Improve the Reprocessing of Surgical Instruments
Hospital systems currently face challenges associated with insufficient cleaning and maintenance of surgical instruments. These instrument reprocessing challenges jeopardize patient safety, cause significant damage to reputation, and contribute to additional costs. Our team collaborated with doctors, nurses, instrument reprocessing technicians, and supervisors in the neurosurgical service and the Central Sterile Processing Department at a university hospital. We focused on how instrument “cleanability” and the configuration of instrument sets impact the effectiveness and efficiency of surgical instrument reprocessing. We developed an Excel-based set-configuration tool to aid in reconfiguring instrument sets to reduce the impact of bioburden. To validate the tool, we separated bioburden-prone instruments from the neurosurgical service’s most heavily used instrument set. We also developed a Cleanability Index to rate surgical instruments and sets based on their difficulty of cleaning.
KeywordsInstrument reprocessing Optimization Process improvement Surgical instruments
The team would like to thank Pat Buchanan, Elvie Casper, Nicole Farquhar, Laura Giuffrida, Julia Jackson, Shawn Murphy, Joseph Porcari, Renee Prince, Amy Redmond, Amber Smith, and Jania Torreblanca for their collaboration. This research is generously supported by the Center for Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety, the Seth Bonder Foundation, the Doctors Company Foundation, the UM College of Engineering, and the Michigan Quality System Group.
- 1.Patient Care at University of Michigan Health System. http://www.uofmhealth.org/about%2Bumhs/about-clinical-care