Central sterile processing departments, where surgical tools and supplies are cleaned, disinfected, and assembled in case trolleys for upcoming procedures, are often relegated to basements or other non-patient-facing areas, which cannot always be expanded to accommodate adapt to operational changes. , equipment or storage needs, says Brenda Bush-Moline, vice president of buildings, a global healthcare industry leader in Stantec (Chicago).
Over time, these departments become crowded and staff end up working in less than ideal conditions, or facilities look for other spaces to expand, which can result in sterile central services scattered across different floors or buildings. “These spaces are so difficult to expand that [staff] they end up just working with what they have, ”says Scott Huff, director of Stantec (Philadelphia).
Penn Medicine tried to address these realities while planning its new Pavilion, a 1.5 million square foot facility that will open this fall in front of Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (HUP). However, an entire floor of the new 17-story inpatient building would be required to meet its core sterile needs, a fact that inspired the organization to consider building an off-site department. After realizing that several of its existing buildings were also facing space constraints, Penn Medicine decided to build a 100,000-square-foot Interventional Support Center (ISC) that would handle instrument processing services for multiple locations, including HUP, three facilities. for outpatients and the future. Pavilion. “They believed they could build a better off-campus space from all over the place and build a better process,” Huff says. Stantec led the project management and architecture, interior and MEP design for the project.
The new facility opened in February and is located in a warehouse in southwest Philadelphia. Chris Pastore, managing director of ISC at Penn Medicine, says it is designed with a one-way forward flow, whereby used supplies arrive on checkout carts and are electronically scanned for tracking before moving to a decontamination area. comprising 14 three-bay sinks for ultrasonic cleaning. and disinfection. They are then moved to an assembly area with 28 ergonomically designed workstations where staff place the instruments on trays for sterilization for future use. The trays are stored in the facility’s 20 high-density filing units, which function as vertical carousels with each unit dedicated to a hospital and department. Each afternoon, supplies are collected for the next day’s procedures and assembled into cartons of boxes, which are placed in a dispatch hall for collection by a local trucking company that has been contracted to handle the movement of supplies around the clock. of the day between the ISC and each facility.
Pastore says that while the state still requires all facilities to have some level of instrument processing in place, about 80 percent of the trays that are regularly processed in hospitals will make it to the new ISC facility. “By moving our processing operations from the traditional hospital environment to a dedicated off-site facility, we can increase efficiency in a high-quality and cost-effective manner, all while keeping up with growing demand,” he says.