Silver Cross Spins Gold Lining Into Sterile Processing Operations Progress

Until last fall, Silver Cross SPD struggled to manage the loaner tray process, including the vendors and their inventory. “Making matters worse, vendors are using loaners more frequently, and they are giving us less time to process the trays,” Hatten said. “This has placed significant strain on our department and impacted our ability to operate efficiently.” The distractions even irritated the OR, she added.

So in September SPD began testing a prototype app that enables tracking of loaner instruments and trays that can be downloaded to any smartphone or mobile device, called Casechek. “We believed that the system had the potential to reduce the workload and strain on the hospital staff while also implementing controls and processes that reduced patient risk,” Hatten noted. SPD implemented Casechek fully in November and mandated use on December 1.

“Since that time every loaner tray has been scheduled, managed and tracked using Casechek,” she continued. “While we were confident that the results would be positive, we didn’t expect that loaner tray issues and adverse events would be eradicated completely. Casechek has the unique ability to proactively identify issues and alert both the OR and SPD teams in real time. This meant that we were able to address problems long before they could impact the OR or case start times. This reduced the stress between the OR and SPD teams and simultaneously improved our working relationship. The reporting features of the system have also allowed us to track vendor compliance and drive vendor accountability. We now have Casechek dashboards throughout the SPD and OR that keep us informed and on the same page.

Furthermore, they examined tray processing times for loaner trays through Casechek and that helped them to shave off 3.5 minutes per tray during processing, she added.