Sterile processing instrument tracking at CSSD departments benefits from RFID technology to automate reprocessing monitoring, ensure all instruments are properly sterilized and stored, and that the correct instruments are placed in each surgical tray or set in assembly.
Most healthcare facilities have established central sterile service or supply departments (sometimes known as central sterile processing) that decontaminate instruments, assemble instrument sets, sterilize equipment, prepare case cart systems for surgery, manage loaner instrumentation and implants, and acquire or purchase instruments, implants, and other supplies.
Critical Incidents in Sterile Processing
Their primary role is in preventing infections in the hospital and they follow stringent processes to keep sterile items cordoned off from contaminated devices or instruments, and to ensure proper sterilization of all items.
They also play an important role in making sure all surgical trays are complete. Surgical tray errors are considered critical incidents in a hospital, because they can put the hospital at legal risk. Avoiding tray errors reduces risk to patient safety as well as liability for the surgical team and facility.
CSSD Improvement Through Automation
RFID can help CSSD departments better manage this process, and provide a real-time, accurate electronic record of the status of instrumentation and medical devices. RFID does not introduce any new processes into the reprocessing workflow; instead, it guides each item automatically through those workflows, and provides documentation indicating when each step in the process is complete. It can also update the system when the instruments have undergone repairs, sharpening or modification.
Loaner instrumentation presents an even greater challenge. When hospitals are unable to purchase particular instruments outright, they often borrow them from other facilities or act as trial locations for new devices. The central sterilization department not only has to clean these instruments, but also identify any problems associated with them and track the items throughout their lifecycle as they enter and then later leave inventory.
For hospitals applying total quality management to surgical tray or kit building, RFID assists with surgical tracking by automating manual tray counts and checks that are typically used to confirm the accuracy of the tray/kit. Data captured can also be used to identify bottlenecks or operational failures during the sterilization and tray-building process. That data is also easily auditable for quality improvement or accreditation purposes.
Xerafy is a pioneer in RFID for Healthcare and Medical applications, bringing to market several innovations that enable advanced identification and automation capabilities.
In addition to a complete range of field-proven RFID tags available off-the-shelf, Xerafy offers Custom RFID Tags services, covering everything from a personalization service bureau to custom-design engineering capabilities.