Today, sterile processing areas are demanding more volume and more work while trying to use the same, if not fewer, number of staff members. In order to keep up with the complexity and detailed procedures required of sterile processing technicians, it’s important that your solution is able to document specific required processing tasks in facilities.
This kind of complexity requires an asset management solution that has the ability to automate sterile processes, while also facilitating a seamless integration between different departments. It’s important to ensure that the system you invest in is equipped to meet the needs and demands of your facility. If you’re starting to consider making the switch from manual to automated processing, or are looking to transition to a new system, we’ve put together a list of features that your solution should provide.
1. Information Standardization
A strong surgical asset management solution should have the ability to standardize all of your inventory data, from count sheets, to instruments, even your container inventory. Ensuring that all of your information is systemized in one location will give you peace of mind when it comes time to pull reports and analyze your data.
2. Process Standardization
Having a standardized process makes it easier to train new staff and can provide you with full transparency when it comes to day-to-day operations. Consider a solution that offers the ability to upload different types of media images that can help instruct your teams and guide processes like tray assembly.
It’s important to consider a system that will guarantee complete documentation of all tasks. If the information that you input is stored inaccurately, it can become difficult to present on when it comes time to pull reports and analyze data to make decisions.
Ensuring your entire staff is fully compliant is not an easy task, so consider investing in a system that will be able to maintain and track competencies for you. Holding your staff accountable to stay up-to-date on their necessary certifications is key to maintaining efficiency and productivity in your facility.
5. Continuing Education/Retention
Processes and guidelines change so frequently that it’s imperative you have a system in place that allows your staff to engage in continued education on a regular basis. Implementing a solution that is able to provide you with on-demand productivity reporting will ensure complete transparency by allowing you to not only see which system users may need more training, but also give you actionable intelligence that can help support workflow efficiency.
6. Surgical Asset Management
Maintaining your surgical instruments can get expensive, especially with maintenance based on routine schedules that run on how often your system thinks the instrument is being used. Save time and money by investing in a system that is able to track maintenance requirements based on actual use, and send you maintenance alerts, instrument maintenance history, and a list of all of your surgical assets that are currently out for maintenance.
7. Regulatory Compliance
Managing staff and facility compliance based on current and upcoming regulatory guidelines is always challenging. Having a surgical asset management system that addresses regulatory requirements like Unique Device Identification (UDI) barcodes, device standards and manufacturer IFUs, and staff competencies can optimize your facility’s day-to-day processes and ensure you are operating efficiently. Look for a system that has the functionality to easily interface with your facility’s current sterilizers, incubators, OR Scheduler, and OneSource.
8. System Sustainability
Choosing a sustainable solution isn’t just about going green, it means investing in a system that adapts to your facility’s needs. Not only is it important that your asset management system be able to provide complete electronic documentation to help you go paperless, but be sure that the company you intend to partner with is also able to provide you with long-term, future plans on how your solution will be able to grow alongside your facility.
9. User Friendliness
Trying to learn and manage your surgical asset management solution shouldn’t be a challenge. When searching for a new solution, look for a system that is easy to learn and user friendly. We’ve found that a web-based software is often the most cost-effective, customizable to individual facility’s needs, and is easily updated and maintained.
10. Patient Safety
We know you work tirelessly every day, so your solution should be working right alongside you to ensure that you are able to focus on what matters most: the patient. Invest in a solution that offers complete patient traceability by allowing you to track down to the instrument level. By choosing a software that gives you the power to understand every level of detail for your facility, you are able to concentrate more closely on how you can continuously empower your staff to provide the best patient care.
Transitioning to a new surgical asset management system can be a long process, but when you’re asking the right questions, deciding on the right solution for your facility becomes a lot easier. The system you select should be able to meet the needs of your facility now and be able to adapt to the needs of your facility in the future.