When we check into a hotel, we expect to see – and know – that everything is clean and tidy, even though it’s been used by many guests before.
Peel-packed instruments go on a journey before they are eventually used for their intended purpose. Their first place of rest are the bins in the OR storage areas. Here they can reside for many months – while being sorted and handled on many occasions. Their chance of staying neat and pretty are compromised on a daily basis.
Housekeeping of your OR Core is essential.
During a recent Joint Commission survey, the surveyor entered the OR Core. His first words were “…because I can see this is so well organized, I know I don’t have to spend much time in here…”. First impressions are everything!
The reality was that the week before, there had been a massive sweep through the pull-down bins to check for outdates (check your IFUs, but one year is a good benchmark), and also to make sure every ratcheted instrument was held open with a sterilization card. All the plastic tip protectors had been removed. All the double peel pouched items had been repackaged.
But the key element of the visual was that all the instruments were neatly arranged in the bins. There were no crunched up packages that would suggest a compromise to their integrity. When he did pull one, it told a simple tale – it was cared for.
Instrument protector/sterilization cards not only protect the instrument, but they also provide structure for the peel pack, protects the sterile barrier, and aids with aseptic presentation. Storage can be neat and tidy. Visualization of the contents quick. The confidence level of package integrity high.
Ultimately, by using sterilization cards, you are promoting your chances of a successful survey!