Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Compounding Disaster - July 2016 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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Page 112 of 168

because we had to — our instrument inventory couldn't keep pace with our increasing surgical volume. Fast forward to today: We've virtually eliminated immediate-use steam sterilization (IUSS). If a 19- OR hospital that performs 29,000 surgeries per year can get close to zero, you can, too, by following 4 simple steps. Set up for failure Back when we were flashing excessively, it was nearly impossible for our nurses and reprocessors to turn instrument trays over quickly enough to keep up with our volume and our surgeons' habits. On the one hand, many of our cataract and ENT surgeons operated with their own instruments and wanted them reprocessed between cases. On the other, we didn't have enough of our own standardized instrument trays in rotation for our other surgeons. Besides feeling pressured and rushed, nurses and techs felt guilty, too, knowing that you're only supposed to flash in an emergency and we were routinely sterilizing unwrapped items for immediate use. Plus, when you wash and flash-sterilize instruments between cases, there's a tendency to cut corners in the cleaning process, not brushing, soaking, wiping or flushing as thoroughly as you should. Fortunately, the keys to reducing our IUSS rate were as obvious as the problem. 1 Invest in more instrument trays. One look at our supply shelves revealed the No. 1 cause of our IUSS problem: There weren't enough instrument trays sitting on them for the volume of short cases that we do. Remember, you'll be forced to flash more often whenever surgical volume outpaces your instrument inventory. Over the last 10 years, we've invested about $1 million on new cataract sets, tonsil sets, and other ophthalmology and ENT sets. We buy based on volume and in sufficient quantity to lessen the incidence J U L Y 2 0 1 6 • O U T PA T I E N TS U R G E R Y. N E T • 1 1 3

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