“Sepsis is a secondary condition, usual- ly the final common pathway to death. The challenges lie in driving education beyond first-line infections—such as pneumonia, urinary tract infection, and wound infection—but rather to the outcome of these diseases, which could include sepsis.”

Rose Mary Casados, MBA, BSMT, ASCP, WW Marketing Manager, BD Life Sciences

“Certification is key for advancement in our profession. Certification shows not only advanced knowledge, but also commitment and dedication to the job long term. In the future, one certification may not be enough for advancement.”

Randy Bigler, Manager of Sterile Supply, Summa Health, Akron, OH

“Surgeries have become hugely com- plex events, with up to 50 individuals involved in a single surgery. These stakeholders experience major chal- lenges sharing patient data as there is no interoperability between systems. Even though groups are entering in- formation into digital systems, sharing that information still means generating mountains of paperwork.”

Justin Rockman, Vice President, Sales and Development, Surgimate.

“If supplies are generally in the area of one-third of the overhead costs in run- ning an ASC or clinic, it would stand to reason, that supplies would be a focus area in terms of reducing or control- ling costs. But in many cases surgery centers and smaller facilities cannot be as strategic regarding supply chain because of resource constraints — that could be anything from manpower, education, training, time, etc.

Ben Winfield, Vice President, Non-Acute and National Accounts, Intalere

“OR tables are much more niche and configured to the minimally invasive surgical machines assisting surgeons to- day. They key innovation here is a ‘fluid top’ that allows smoother positioning of the patient. This lets the surgeons better align the patient and the surgi- cal robots. This is a huge innovation for patient safety. Forty years ago it was common to see clinicians picking up the sheet to reposition patients in surgery!”

Tom Derrick, Senior Vice President and Co- Founder, OpenMarkets

PEOPLE & OPINIONS Is offsite sterile

operation offsite by Derrick Bransby


he market for healthcare services is rapidly changing; consumers are savvier, competition is fierce, and laws and policies governing the market are in a near-constant state of flux. Such pressures have forced healthcare leaders to think differently about the organizations they lead and identify creative solutions for increasing efficiency, improving quality, and cutting cost. Most recently, one such solution gaining momentum in healthcare systems throughout the country is relocat- ing ancillary operations, specifically sterile processing, to offsite facilities.

Relocating sterile processing operations to a centralized offsite facility, whether owned internally or operated by a third party, is a rapidly emerging trend. While some systems have already successfully implemented offsite processing, many oth- ers are actively considering a move, citing benefits such as increased efficiency and equipment utilization, improved regulatory compliance, enhanced quality, decreased processing cost, and opportunities for new revenue generation in the recovered facil- ity space. However, the move to an offsite facility also comes with risk. From a clinical perspective, one must be concerned about infection prevention, quality assurance, and availability of instruments and supplies at a moment’s notice. From an administra- tive perspective, there are issues related to transportation, compliance, inventory management, operations planning, and other crucial supply chain functions. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer; the case for offsite sterile processing is unique for each hospital and healthcare system. The best offsite sterile processing operations are engineered solutions— facilities sized and designed to meet the dynamic needs of the healthcare systems they serve. Too often, leaders simply view offsite facilities as a “silver bullet” for space constraints within the four walls of


a hospital. If footprint reduction is the key motivator for creating an offsite facility, then proceed with caution. The reduction alone will likely not be enough to justify a move off site. Instead, consider the follow- ing eight factors to determine if an offsite sterile processing facility is right for your organization.

1. Demand for processing In general, offsite operations make the best business case when demand from multiple facilities can be combined for processing (e.g., a hub and spoke model). However, that is not to say that offsite operations are limited to large healthcare systems. Partnerships between multiple hospitals, surgery centers, etc. are not unheard of when considering offsite operations, although they can introduce their own unique complexities.

2. Geography and transportation requirements Systems with a compact geographic foot- print are often better suited for offsite operations than those spread over a large area. Time is of the essence when collecting soiled instruments and delivering sterile material to clinical staff. As such, trans- portation systems must meet the required service criteria and be well managed. The expense and expertise associated with op- erating a successful transportation system must not be overlooked.

3. Data integrity and process standardization Visibility to accurate, near real-time data is a must. Reliable item masters, prefer- ence cards, tracking data, etc., should be available prior to moving operations off site. Without access to reliable data, suc- cessfully managing an offsite facility is nearly impossible. Furthermore, standard processes and systems are required to en-

processing for me? Eight factors to consider before moving your

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