The Source | July 23, 2019

Advice from the Field

New CS Staff are always told that even though we do not directly touch a patient, everything we do directly impacts the patient's outcome. Also, CS is a special place that requires people that have a passion for the profession.

Lou, NY

Director of Central Sterile

Photo Courtesy of

Is It Time for the SPD to Have a Replay Center?

Author: J. Vincent Sanchez (CRCST), Client Manager

Mid-operation, a surgeon spots a soiled instrument in a tray of supposedly sterilized tools. The patient is under anesthesia as a whistle is blown, the operation halted, and the tray rushed back to the SPD. There, SPD staff huddle around a touchscreen where once the instrument has been scanned, they watch a full replay of where it was and what processes it went through—or didn’t go through—before it was sent to the OR. 

The Replay Center

The instant replay tells them what they need to know: where the process ran off-course. They implement departmental improvements as the surgery resumes with a fresh tray of properly reprocessed instruments.

This is not what happens in most of today’s SPDs. Despite the life-or-death stakes of accurate reprocessing, the resources channeled to SPD tracking systems— $30,000–$50,000 annually in some smaller hospitals—are a pittance compared to what’s spent on, say, the accuracy of referee calls in the NBA.

Over the last several years, the NBA has funneled millions of dollars into its referee training and officiating program. In the 2014–2015 season, it launched its Replay Center, a facility in Secaucus, New Jersey, where referees watch games from a distance and provide real-time input to the officials on the court. Game footage is live-streamed on about 100 screens, and the only thing an on-court referee needs to do to get replay help on a call is twirl his finger in the air. That signal sends the Replay Center refs into action, reviewing footage of the play from multiple angles, zooming in, replaying, sending clips back to the on-court referee, and providing input on what call to make.

The Replay Center cost the NBA about $15 million to build over the course of two years, and that’s just one aspect of the overhaul to its officiating program. As of 2017, it also implemented a “data-driven game review system to create objective referee measurement standards and track progress regarding call accuracy,” according to an official release from the league. Coaches are now able to provide feedback to referees after each game through a special app. Last Two Minute reports provide a breakdown and assessment of every call or “notable non-calls” made in the last two minutes of games that are within three points at some time during that two-minute period.

In the Name of Transparency

On top of all of this, the NBA has established an Officiating Advisory Council, with such members as former U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair General Martin Dempsey and former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, because apparently the quality of NBA officiating is of national importance.

All of these efforts—as well as the data the NBA gathers, analyzes and publishes—are done in the name of transparency and fairness. The NBA has a vested interest in maintaining the trust of players, coaches, and fans. It doesn’t want to leave any room for fans to claim the league is rigged. (And if all of this doesn’t prove that point, check @NBAOfficial on Twitter, where the replay footage that explains referee calls is posted for the most upset fans to see.)

“Officiating in the NBA, and all officiating in all sports, has evolved because of these things called analytics,” veteran NBA referee Steve Javie told reporter Ben Dowsett, and that should be something we can all agree on. Meanwhile, a study published in a 2015 edition of the Journal of Sports Analytics reports that an “empirical analysis for 113 games and 1229 total calls [in the NBA] finds no support of referee bias in foul calling,” and Dowsett reported: “The NBA continues to hover between 93 and 95 percent accuracy on all calls and non-calls its officials make.”

We can’t know whether this accuracy is because of all the resources poured into NBA officiating, but certainly, they couldn’t have hurt. The infrastructure alone around NBA referees is something to be admired (and if the funds are available, replicated). 

Meanwhile, we can only imagine what a difference an SPD Replay Center could make for the work of reprocessing instruments that save lives.  And given the fact that the Toronto Raptors clinched the 2019 NBA Championship for the first time in franchise history, crazier things have happened.

CtUC 2019 Spotlight: 3 User-Led Breakout Sessions

Last week, we announced our general session agenda, along with Sunday’s workshops (reserve your spot now!).  Today we spotlight three user-led breakout sessions you won’t want to miss! 

How to Use CensiTrac to Prepare for Sterilization Audits 

Presentor: Yves Theodule (CRCST, CER, CIS, CHL, CSPDT)

When: Monday, Sept. 23

Class times: 10:15-11:05am | 1:15-2:05pm 

Where: Cheekwood H  (Gaylord)

Yves Theodule (CRCST, CER, CIS, CHL, CSPDT), Sterile Processing Manager, has more than a decade of experience working in the Sterile Processing field.  His CensiTrac-specific breakout session will provide insight into three important reasons why maintaining sterilization records translates to a healthier audit process. It will also review three key reasons why your department should move to a paperless record system. 

Sterilization Audits with Maestro & EVA 2000 

Presentor: Chanel Bonaby (CRCST)

When: Monday, Sept. 23 

Class times: 10:15-11:05am | 1:15-2:05pm 

WhereCheekwood A  (Gaylord)

Chanel Bonaby, Sterile Processing Educator, has 21 years of experience in the field of Sterile Processing. Her current responsibilities as Sterile Processing Educator range from assessing on-going educational needs of individuals and departments to working closely with data and preparing reports for her Quality Assurance and Risk Management team. Her MaestroABACUS-specific breakout session focuses on best use cases for sterilization auditing in Maestro and EVA 2000.  Based on her facility's use, they were able to lower infection rates and reduce IUSS cycles. 

OR/SPD Relationship: Diagnosis and Design 

Presentor: Susan J. Pfeifer 

When: Monday, Sept. 23 

Class times: 10:15-11:05am | 1:15-2:05pm 

WhereCheekwood G (AM Session) | Hermitage D (PM Session) (Gaylord)

Susan J. Pfeifer, Director of Sterile Processing, has over 25 years of experience in leadership, operations, education, customer service, and process improvement in the healthcare industry specific to Sterile Processing. Her industry-specific breakout session focuses on the dynamic relationship between OR and SPD and how to improve culture through shared meaning and purpose. By illustrating and assessing historical examples of strategies promoted and employed across the industry, you’ll leave this session with adaptive new ways and techniques to consider when addressing your own team culture.  

We’ll be highlighting more breakout sessions in the next issue of The Source! 

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Learn three ways to improve offsite management

As health systems continue to grow, the demand within CS/SPD to process and produce expands.  Which is why many organizations have reassessed their sterilization handling and processing, turning to offsite centers to help sustain growth, create space, and adhere to industry standards and guidelines.

J. Vincent Sanchez (CRCST) shares three ways to help serve your off-site facility management processes.

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