Clean at the
Speed of Light
Metropolitan Hospital, a 325- bed urban hospital and part of New York City’s Health and Hospitals Corporation, partnered with Crothall Healthcare to overhaul their Sterile Processing Services department (SPS)
Crothall Healthcare represents excellence in the medical services support industry with a broad array of services that improve patient satisfaction while reducing hospital expenditures.
At a Glance
Sterile processing includes the cleaning, decontamination, sterilization and preparation of equipment to reduce the risk on infection. Instruments of particular concern are used in endoscopies, ultrasounds and other procedures often implicated in hospital-acquired infections (HAI). Crothall expertise factored into a restructuring of the hospital’s in-house SPS that has seen an expansion throughout New York City and beyond.
“We are extremely happy with the progress made working with Crothall,” according to William Wang, Chief Operating Officer of Metropolitan Hospital. “From the human perspective, the staff has appreciated the work invested in their department and is happier overall than they have been.”
Finding the Right Approach
Crothall’s excellent reputation was offered a worthy challenge. Metropolitan Hospital reached out to Crothall to assist with sterile processing management services onsite. The hospital’s departmental operations had previously caused significant delays and cancellations of procedures. Low productivity and a lack of useful guidelines for processing staff endangered the facility’s status with an upcoming Joint Commission study.
The first priority was reorganizing and reengineering Sterile Processing. Proper handling of hospital instruments and materials must be a one-way process to maintain safety. “We had to re-organize, implement a standardization program, and create a one-way workflow from scratch,” said Afif Escheik, Resident Regional Director of Operations in charge of Metropolitan Hospital’s Sterile Processing. “We had to be sure that elaborations later would be on a solid basis.”
Making Changes Permanent
Education was next on the list. Crothall managers drew on their operational history to create customized educational programs for the unit’s staff and stakeholders elsewhere in the chain of care. Basic trainings were immediate and daily, with weekly larger sessions addressing pain points or updates to the process. “That’s also how we learned some of the things we needed to know to improve over time,” said Escheik.
Crothall improved Metropolitan’s SPD by more than 97%. The quality of sterile processing is measured in occurrences of process errors. The administration counted an average of 90 occurrences per month before Crothall took over the process. This dropped to two occurrences after two years.
METROPOLITAN HOSPITAL RECOGNIZED STERILE PROCESSING AS THE MOST IMPROVED DEPARTMENT IN THE FACILITY AFTER A MONTH WITH NO MISSING INSTRUMENTS, BIO-BURDEN OR PRE-STERILIZATION ERRORS.
The Benefits of Synergy
Metropolitan’s Sterile Processing benefited from centralized efforts. Once the SPS was reorganized and educational programs were in place, Crothall managers created more efficiencies by avoiding wasted work. Many clinics in the hospital were handling their own processing until the SPS began accepting their tasks and returning sterile materials. Infection Control was one of many departments that appreciated the improved process.
Great news traveled faster than a New York minute. Crothall Managers, representing decades of experience in perioperative services, took control of Metropolitan’s Sterile Processing Services in June 2015. Their success was so noted in New York City’s Health and Hospitals Corporation (NYCHHC) system that the Crothall team went on to run Sterile Processing at four more facilities within two years.
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