Update: Sterile Storage In Healthcare Settings

Update: Sterile Storage In Healthcare Settings

  • Posted On : 4/29/2020 11:39 AM

Making sure that patients are safe and properly cared for is the most important job of hospitals and their staff. Of course, patient care is important, but what goes on behind the scenes to keep patients safe might be even more crucial. This includes making sure the areas and tools are completely sanitized, disinfected and sterilized.

Many items and tools within a hospital can be used hundreds of times on multiple patients. This means during surgery, exams or other processes. To be sure that patients are safe, those tools that are used over and over again must be thoroughly and properly sterilized to ensure that there is no spread of disease, bacteria or illness. If there is not proper sterilization, there are many health risks to patients. 

In addition to proper sterilization, it is important to store those items properly. If they have gone through the sterilization process and they are not stored properly, they could no longer be sterile. That is why it is important to keep them stored properly afterward. 

What Is Sterile Storage?

Sterilizers in hospitals cover a variety of different needs in varying hospital settings. There are two different kinds of sterility packaging in every hospital: reusable and disposable.

A healthcare professional working in a sterile unit does not sterilize or reuse a disposable item after it has been opened from its package.

The sterilization process kills all forms of bacteria, fungi, viruses, spores, and other harmful items that attach themselves to medical items used on a daily basis. Essentially, when something is sterilized it is done for the safety of the patient. This keeps Hospital Acquired Infections to a minimum.

The process of sterilization is fairly simple. The item is placed into a cassette, which is a small case to keep the pieces in place, and then is inserted into a high speed washer. After the wash, the items are packaged and inserted into a sterilizer, which is built into the wall. The reason it is built into the wall is to keep the two sides of the process completely separate. They are inserted in one room and taken out on the other, which prevents the possibility of mixing the two up.

Check out this video to see how the sterilization process works:

Sterile Storage units are used to hold everyday items inside of them and keep them clean. A list of common items stored in these units are:

  • Clamps
  • Gynecological Instruments
  • Needle Holders
  • Probes and Directors
  • Rectal Instruments
  • Mouth & Throat Instruments
  • Micro-Surgical Instruments

The Wrong Sterile Storage Causes Problems

The main issue that can arise from a lack of correct sterile storage is Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs). HAIs are infections that patients receive during their treatment for medical or surgical conditions.

Infections can occur after procedures from using dirty medical implements. This is a common issue of why patients who are discharged come back so soon. They get a number of different infections and have to be treated for them.

FlowCARE Is Sterile Storage!

While the sterilization process does not happen in FlowCARE systems, our nurse server holds these sterile items. This type of sterile storage is known for decentralized storage.

Decentralized means small quantities of sterile items are stored close to the treatment or procedure area and are monitored by staff. A decentralized sterile storage unit can be located near the patient’s bedside, during a surgery, or other places where they are within arm's length in the event they become necessary. 

FlowCARE Nurse Server keeps HAIs to a minimum. This is because of the type of materials FlowCARE is made from - steel and laminate.

Steel is a better option because it can be easily cleaned and is non-porous so there is no chance of bacteria or fungi penetrating the storage unit. Additionally, steel lasts for over 10 years.

Laminate is a great option as well, but it can break down over time which can cause bacteria and fungi to attach to the storage unit. We offer FlowCARE in laminate materials for hospitals seeking a more cost-effective way of storing their sterile instruments!

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