Last week we were visiting one of our customers to discuss strategies for upcoming inservices. During that meeting, I had a side conversation with the representative from the Biomed Department (at this facility, Biomed is actively involved in the management as well as maintenance of the reprocessing equipment). Our conversation focused on the use of Healthmark's Washer Rack Labels. This was one of the first locations to use these labels. I was curious how they were holding up and also if the facility was actually using the unique numbers to track the individual racks. I am happy to report that the news on both fronts was very positive. The labels, which have been in use for almost a year, look like they were just installed that morning. Better, yet, the Biomed manager happily reported that indeed the SPD staff record the rack numbers when they run their daily test of the washers and also when reporting any issues with a particular load. He shared with a very illuminating story, where the unique number of the rack, along with the unique number of the washer (every washer in the institution also has a unique number) helped to uncover a problem.
Once in a while, the facility would have an issue where a washer would not get things thoroughly cleaned. Further investigation uncovered the issue: when rack #147 went into washer #7, the coupling mechanism was not locking down that rack properly. When this happened, water would not be sufficiently directed into the rack and out the spray arms. The problem was not visually obvious. There was nothing noticeably wrong with either rack for washer. Any other combination of washer and rack was not causing an issue. As it turned out, it was only this combination of rack and washer. Both rack and washer were slightly out of tolerance - the coupling mechanism of the washer and the bottom frame of the rack. It was only when these two met, did the problem occur. Without the unique labeling of both washer and rack - and the diligence of SPD and Biomed staff to uncover the cause of the problem, an answer may never have been found.
So, unlike Vegas, in this case, "playing the numbers" paid off!