Optimizing Sterile Processing Services: Insights From the Philadelphia Veterans Association


The CMCVAMC Sterile Processing Services Department presents their roadmap for success at HSPA 2024, focusing on workflow, instrumentation, tools, tracking, and SOPs.

Corporal Michael J. Crescenz, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (CMCVAMC) Sterile Processing Services Department

Corporal Michael J. Crescenz, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (CMCVAMC) Sterile Processing Services Department

How does a Veterans Affairs Medical Center achieve successful sterile processing services? A poster at the Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA) Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, held from April 20 to April 23, 2024, written by the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (CMCVAMC) Sterile Processing Services Department, shared their insights.

Streamlining Workflow: The department prioritized optimizing efficiency by redesigning the preparation and packing area into designated assembly and sterilization zones. This strategic layout separation improved workflow by assigning specific areas for each task, such as introducing a Peel Pouch Station and designated locations for tray assembly and sterilization.

Workstation Ergonomics: Upgrades to lighting and workstation shelves enhanced accessibility during assembly. The redesigned layout provides easier access to washers, instrument shelves, and backup inventory, contributing to a more organized environment.

Instrument Quality: Engaging a service vendor for preventative maintenance scheduling ensures timely addressing of instrument deficiencies—streamlined ordering processes for replenishing instrument shortages to ensure availability when needed.

Processing Tools: Strategic changes in materials and products, including new containers and locks for sterilization, enhance workflow efficiency. Count sheets inside containers and removal tags improve the aseptic presentation and streamline tracking.

Tracking Efficiency: New scan points and labels on instrument racks and dryer cabinets significantly improve data collection and instrument tracking, facilitating prompt access when urgently needed.

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Alignment: SOPs have been revised to align with the new workflow, ensuring all staff can access pertinent documents as needed.

Overall, the Philadelphia Veterans Association's Sterile Processing Services Department's roadmap poster at HSPA 2024 highlights critical strategies for optimizing sterile processing services. By focusing on workflow, workstation ergonomics, instrument quality, processing tools, tracking efficiency, and SOP alignment, the department aims to enhance efficiency, maintain high standards of cleanliness, and ensure the availability of necessary instruments for patient care.

Find other coverage from HSPA 2024 and previous years here.

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