A few weeks ago, I wrote a digest article setting the table for views on how medical facilities need to start turning the tide on bad headlines. I pointed out two fundamental concerns. First, to ensure adequate training of staff, the second is having the proper tools to do their job correctly. I briefly addressed the training concerns last week. Now, I'd like to discuss having the correct tools, or "Tools of the Trade for Reprocessing Professionals". I couldn't tell you the number of times I've heard staff members say they don't have the adequate tools, brushes, spray guns and information on hand. Specifically, integral resources pertaining to staff and knowledge. There's no simple answer, but here are some tips that will help you get started on the correct path. Management of the Sterile Processing (Medical Device Reprocessing) departments need to be active on the product committee evaluations. Why? It provides the ability to have input before products are brought into your facility. You can explain the impact the product will have on your department and if you have the proper resources (staff and equipment). Next, start being what I call a "label reader", or as I always say read the Instructions for Use (IFU). This will be the key to training your staff to perform their job duties correctly each and every shift, as well as understanding the proper tools they'll need to do so. Implementing this process allows you to work with various vendors on obtaining these tools and justify buying them for your department. Because we work in a dynamic environment, we're aware that IFUs are constantly changing. For example, in 2009 patient infections increased after orthopedic surgery due to inadequate reprocessing of orthopedic shavers. The IFU was changed to include more enhanced visual inspection of areas the human eye wouldn't typically see, as well as brushes that made it easier to reach some of these areas. Departments must now have these tools to ensure the staff can perform their job correctly each and every time. Are you looking for a great source to help your staff find and use the right tools for your specific task? Look no further than Healthmark Industries, we're here to help.


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