Access and Organization: A Place for Everything and Everything Has Its Place


Although instrument cleaning brushes, and other cleaning tools may not “spark joy” in the minds of all sterile processing professionals, organization guru Marie Kondo would probably agree that access and organization can have a significant impact on productivity and efficiency in the sterile processing department. Technicians in decontamination should not be limited by inaccessible cleaning tools, and in this case, that means two things: Cleaning tools should be accessible while in use at each sink and additional inventory should be stored within the decontamination area. Technicians should identify the required cleaning tools for the instrument set and gather the needed supplies prior to manual cleaning. The items should be in stock, in clearly labeled bins, and stored in a designated area within the decontamination department. It is critical that items are easily accessible. Requesting a brush from outside of the decontamination area, or worse, doffing PPE to access a storage area outside of decontam is far from efficient and may promote cutting corners or skipping steps in the decontamination process. Storage of items like brushes, cleaning tools, and detergents should be at the sink or within a few steps of sink. Personal lockers, drawers under or around the sink, and locked or difficult to access areas are not acceptable storage areas for cleaning tools. A well-stocked, well-organized decontamination area will not only improve productivity and efficiency, it may even “spark joy” in the instrument cleaning process at your facility