Reprocessing sinks are an important piece of the instrument reprocessing puzzle. Whether you’re brushing, flushing, rinsing, or soaking, a sink can greatly enhance a department’s throughput. But what happens when reprocessing sinks become disorganized? There can be three main areas where departments see consequences from disorganized equipment and workflows.
Onboarding new sterile processing technicians or nurses can be challenging. Most departments and hospital systems have unique policies, procedures, and sink configurations. Learning a
department’s processes can become much more difficult, and time consuming, if the sinks in your department are disorganized, or set up without meaningful purpose.
This learning curve can result in not only longer training times, but more time spent by other team members answering questions and correcting new hires, ultimately bogging down your department.
Speaking of bogged down departments, sink layout and lack of organization can also significantly hamper productivity. If required materials, such as brushes, flushing devices, enzymatic detergents, among others, are not readily available at your sinks, steps are being added to your processes to leave the sink to get what technicians need to do their job. These extra steps mean extra time, with the result being slower throughput and reduced productivity.
Compliance and Patient Safety
Most importantly, a disorganized sink can lead to compliance concerns. If your basins are not clearly defined, instruments may end up in the wrong place, leading to potential re-contamination. Worse yet, undefined processes and incorrect use of basins could result in a missed step, such as soaking/rinsing, leading to lapses in reprocessing; something that could result in patient safety concerns when the device is required for surgery.
From onboarding considerations, to productivity hits, to compliance and patient safety concerns, it’s easy to view disorganized sinks as a thorn in your department’s side. Instead, view the organization of your sinks as opportunities. Opportunities to enhance the onboarding experience, to help your team get more done each shift, and deliver on the promise to keep your facility’s patients safe.
Looking to improve your sinks, or tackle another challenge your department is facing? We’re here to help!
Are your workstations disorganized? Check out our blog post: Workstation Disorganization: Problems and Opportunities