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Five Sterile Processing Questions for Stephen Cuthbertson, College Medical Center and Jeremy Gibson-Roark, DNV GL Healthcare: Post-Webinar Interview

By Claire Thayer, April 18, 2019

Improvement, Regulatory Compliance & Case Management of College Medical Center in Long Beach California, and Jeremy Gibson-Roark, a lead clinical and certification surveyor with DNV GL Healthcare, participated in a Healthcare Web Summit discussion on sterile processing.

If you missed this informative webinar, Is Your Sterile Processing Department Safe? Risks and Opportunities in Sterile Processing, watch the On-Demand version here. After the webinar, we interviewed Stephen and Jeremy on five key takeaways from the webinar: 

1. What are a few of the opportunities you've identified in sterile processing departments for quality improvement? 

Jeremy Gibson-Roark: 

  • IUSS use
  • Tray Completion – All instruments accounted for and delivered
  • Instrument Quality
  • Instrument/Set Availability
  • Tray Management – Removing and repurposing of trays not being utilized
  • Tray Management – Condensing of trays to reduce volume of processing  

2. How does the certification in sterile processing benefit the patient? 

Jeremy Gibson-Roark: It allows an organization to ensure that a Quality Management System (QMS) is in place in the sterile processing department.  This system should be designed to achieve continual improvement in the department.  The benefit to the patient is the assurance that the organization has dedicated the resources and leadership to the processing of surgical/medical instrumentation. 

3. Why were you interested in obtaining Sterile Processing Program Certification for your hospital? 

Stephen Cuthbertson: We wanted a certification to set us apart from our local area hospitals. After review of the SPPC standards, we felt confident we could achieve the certification. We don’t have the volume for attempting, stroke, VAD, or hip and knee, etc… 

4. What are some of the key steps involved in the certification process? 

Stephen Cuthbertson: I think the biggest key steps are first understanding that the standards speak to and expect to see data, policies, QMS, etc.., specific to the SPD. The document review is extensive and the tour of the various departments affected by SPD are the other big steps. It’s also important to realize that the nonconformities aren’t a bad thing, they assist the organization in improving their patient safety related to SPD. 

5. Is certification only available for Hospital? 

Jeremy Gibson-Roark: This is the only certification available for the Sterile Processing Department in the United States. While individual certification is available through other organizations, DNV GL is the only organization that will certify a hospitals SPD.

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