Managing loaner sets involves a lot of moving parts. First you must understand how loaner sets get from vendors to hospitals and then to CSSDs and ORs for the actual cases. Scheduling a loaner set and managing its journey without an automated tool in place requires a lot of manual communication via phone calls, emails, and texts as the set moves from vendors to hospitals, from CSSDs to ORs. Typically the steps to getting a loaner set scheduled are as follows:

  1. Surgeon communicates the need to a vendor
  2. The vendor coordinates with the surgeon’s office
  3. Surgeon’s office schedules the case with the hospital and confirms the date with the vendor
  4. Loaner sets are delivered to the facility by the vendor prior to the case

With that kind of manual communication structure in place, there’s no accountability or visibility for the hospital, surgeon, or vendor as to where the set is, whether it’ll be on time, and whether it contains the correct instrumentation. Furthermore, once the loaner set is delivered to the hospital, a myriad of additional communication must take place to ensure that the loaner set actually gets to the CSSD with enough time to be sterilized before the case, along with specific instructions on how to sterilize it. The OR must be aware of where the loaner set is within the hospital and what kind of timeline the CSSD is projecting for processing it in order to be aware of any potential delays. The potential for obstacles, mistakes, and miscommunication is huge with manual loaner set management. Let’s take a look at a few that can hinder the set from getting to the OR on time.

Technology is Continuously Changing

Technology is always advancing, causing constant evolution of surgical procedures. This creates challenges for hospitals and surgery centers such as:

  • The need for continuous education for OR and CSSD staff
  • Dependency on the vendor to deliver manufacturers’ IFUs for new loaner sets in a timely fashion
  • Longer sterilization times related to set size and density stemming from the use of embedded graphics in more complex trays
  • Different processing requirements for components of the same instrument set
Every Loaner Set is Unique

Continued evolution of instrument sets, combined with changing surgeon needs has led to the creation of trays and sets that have different sterilization requirements. Some sets do not allow for Immediate Use Steam Sterilization (IUSS) as a sterilization option. When loaner sets are delivered to facilities, regulatory standards require the facility to sterilize that product according to the manufacturer’s IFUs. The IFUs need to be provided to the CSSD in advance of the loaner set delivery to ensure the staff is trained and prepared to comply with sterilization requirements. Nothing should be routinely processed without written IFUs that specify acceptable BI and CI results.

Reprocessing Wrapped Items

It is a facility’s ethical responsibility to ensure surgical instrumentation is:

  • Safe to use on patients
  • Processed properly with corresponding documentation
  • Traceable to the patient

When loaner sets are delivered to a facility, there is no way of knowing how the item was reprocessed after its last use at another facility, or whether the set was transported in a controlled environment. Therefore, wrapped instrumentation needs to go through a facility’s own reprocessing loop. Changing technology, unique and variant loaner sets, and wrapped items are just a few of the obstacles facing facilities within their loaner set management. To stand up to those obstacles, each facility must have a strong system in place with a complete communication plan to make sure that OR delays become a thing of the past. Want to read more on obstacles in the loaner set journey and get a strategy for success? Download our eBook, Navigating Your Way to Successful Loaner Set Management, to get the best practices you need to succeed in your loaner set management.

Navigating Your Way to Successful Loaner Set Management

Complete Loaner Set Visibility

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