Central Sterile Services
Central Sterile Services is the heart of hospitals and surgical centers. It can be a beehive of activity with technicians, nurses and supply specialists all circulating within the space to store and retrieve sterile instruments and materials. The range of items that can be found in a CSS department run the gamut from miniscule to bulky and and from light weight to quite heavy. As patient load, varieties of procedures and new specialized instruments proliferate, maximizing the available space in CSS becomes increasingly important.
The challenge of fitting more materials in the same physical room not only requires that all available space is used to maximum capacity, but that storage and retrieval of items occurs quickly, accurately and safely. Ergonomics becomes increasingly important as poorly designed storage systems may require staff to lift, reach or bend in in an awkward manner, possibly contributing to work place injuries or chronic physical problems. Comprehensive solutions to CSS storage are provided by Lista International with drawer storage cabinets, Storage Walls, and related technical furnishings.
Accurate labeling of items and accurate inventory counts also becomes a bigger issue as CSS managers are tasked with increasing inventory turnover rates which often means having less of a particular item on hand. Storage that is easily reconfigurable to adapt to the changing shape and quantity of items stored is essential. Modular drawer storage is the most effective way to consolidate items and minimizing wasted space. Drawers available in a variety of heights allows for a close match between the height of the item(s) being stored and the drawer space, eliminating storing “air” as often happens with shelving. Drawers that are further sub-dividable, are easily labeled and that extend 100% to allow complete access to the contents will also help maximize space utilization while making storage and retrieval of items easier. Items that are easy to find, access and see also make taking inventory faster and more accurate.
Cases can be quite heavy and, for ergonomic reasons, should be stored below 45″ above the floor. However, when below waist level, retrieving a case from a shelf can require bending, stooping and reaching into the shelf cavity. Roll out trays that can safely support the combined weight of several cases allow cases to roll them out from the storage unit for more comfortable and safe access. Galvanized or Stainless Steel surfaces stand up to repeated storage and retrieval cycles without concern of paint chipping and adding potential contaminants to the environment.
Processing areas are similarly affected by the changes in inventory and tighter processing controls. Space at sterile wrap stations and in decontam also needs to be well organized for efficiency and as an aid to process repeatability. Simple, flat top processing tables waste valuable vertical space above the work surface where supplies and equipment can be stored. By using vertical space effectively, less table top space is required and more work can be accomplished in less space. Vertical space management systems can serve to accommodate shelving, bins, computer monitors, task lighting, document holders and a host of other task accessories that combine to create an efficient workstation.
Instrument organization and storage requirements are changing. The days of hanging instruments on a piece of wood-based pegboard in the open environment are quickly fading. Stricter guidelines require the elimination of wood or cardboard based products in favor of non-shedding materials, easily sanitized materials. Additionally, enclosing sterile instruments in a cabinet is an increasing requirement in Central Sterile Service departments. Our Instrument Storage Cabinets feature sanitary, PVC organizing panels installed in customizable cabinets with a choice of door styles. 14 different “footprints” allow us to fit an instrument storage cabinet into virtually any available space. Similarly, a variety of height options up to 118″ help to maximize use of vertical space. Incorporating drawers at the bottom of the cabinet efficiently stores bulk supplies, larger or infrequently used instruments.
Pulling cases and transporting them employs the use of carts. Stainless steel carts that are of welded construction will prove most durable and sanitary over the long term. Depending on the layout of your CSS department and the routes through the facility that carts will follow, cart size may be important. The ability to source carts in a variety of sizes and shelf configurations offers the CSS manager the ability to tailor the cart to the facility and the staff using them. Stainless steel carts from JAMCO products come in a wide range of standard sizes and configurations and can also be customized to any unique need.
Long hours working at a wrap station requires seating that is as comfortable as it is durable. Seating is one of those areas where what you see is not necessarily what you get. Seating can be made to look attractive with coverings that hide what is under them. In addition, vacuum formed seating made without seams is preferred in a sterile environment and are easier to clean and keep clean.
The differences in quality of seating offerings can be vast. Look for seating company that is forward thinking and invests in research and developement as oppossed to a company that simply purchases components and fits them together. Differences in everything from seat and back profiles, types of foam used, cover materials, ergonomic task controls, craftmanship and warranties all combine to separate quality seating from run-of-the-mill offerings.
The impact that seating has on a workers comfort and well being will be translated directly into productivity levels as incorrectly specified, uncomfortable or poorly constructed seating can actually cause physical harm to the user. We like seating from BIOFIT, and industry leader for over 70 years. The product array is impressive, as is their 13 year “Sure Seat” warranty. Many products can ship within 48 hours and standard lead times for non-stock items are relatively short. Here are some great reasons to invest in BIOFIT products. And you can go to their website and Build Your Own Chair, then just contact us with the resulting model code and we’ll provide you with a quotation.
For staff that must stand at their workstations, anti-fatigue mats are critical to minimizing back and leg pain during a shift. Ergonomic matting for the sterile areas should be of closed cell construction that will not absorb liquids. Mats should also posses anti-microbial properties and be able to stand up to the heat in a cart washer for repeated sterilazations. Finally, mats should not crush in use and always return to their full thickness without leaving dents or impressions from use. To satisfy all these requirements, we recomend anti-fatigue mats from Pro-Tech Industries. Their Ortho-Mat line is available in virtually any size or shape and is the only mat offered with an anti-microbial agent IN the material to prevent mold, mildew, and bacterial growth.