Elevating the SPD profession

April 20, 2018

To evaluate SPD Department of the Year nominations, Healthcare Purchasing News recruits a variety of staff members, editorial advisory board members that also are active professionals in the relevant field segments of the industry and the leader of the previous year’s winning department. Here are some notable comments and observations from some of this year’s judging team; only the previous year’s winning department leader is identified.

Advocate Christ Medical Center, Oak Lawn, IL, 2018 SPD Department of the Year

“Advocate has clearly established Quality Management teams that range from frontline staff members to senior leadership. For all of the identified gaps, they not only put in place action plans, but established sustainment plans to ensure that positive progress stays in place. Advocate has established clear metrics and measurements that can be visualized and tracked to quantify the amount of progress or identify areas that may need attention (e.g., backlog, trays per person, IUSS rate, defect by category). They have made a few significant investments (Censitrac, Tickie racks) that will continue to eliminate defects. Lastly, they have put in place Standard Work through Job Instruction to train all staff to follow system process to maintain the quality management system.”

– Allison Flood, Director of Operations for SPD, LeeSar, Fort Myers, FL,
and 2017 SPD Department of the Year

“The fact that senior leadership allowed the hiring of appropriate staff in this department is amazing. Congratulations for helping them to understand the need and effect on patient care!”

“[Achieving a] culture of safety score from less than 20 percent up to 80 percent in two years is quite impressive. The point in education that a staff member ‘understands the importance of their profession’ really struck me – it is not just doing a job but understanding the impact of the work. CS/SPD professionals frequently cite friction with the OR as a major problem – the liaison program that Advocate has in place seems like a great way to open up communication between the CS/SPD and OR and help bridge the traditional gaps between these departments. Absolutely exceptional – they hit every aspect of the scoring dead on.”

“Advocate Christ recognized the importance of SPD as a cog within perioperative improvement for patient safety, and dedicated resources to boost SPD performance making SPD a ‘priority.’ Using C-Suite support, SPD attacked flow and storage issues using through parent organization resources, pursuing and implementing a lean philosophy. The SPD Workgroup demonstrated clear improvements in reducing backlogs, boosting trays-per-person in reprocessing and dropping IUSS rates. They use Censitrac technology, applying software to processing outside of SPD and into the OR. They also offer a very detailed education and training process that emphasizes certification. Their impressive teamwork also incorporates outpatient operations.”

St. Luke’s University Health Network, Bethlehem, PA, 2017 Honorable Mention and finalist

“St. Luke’s is a large network of hospitals managed by one cohesive SPD leadership team. They have the ability to flex staff as needed based on volumes; have set solid metrics that can be measured to understand currently performance in the department (e.g., IUSS, defects, volumes, productivity). They have made significant investments (Censitrac, OneTray, UniteOR, Epic) to better take advantage of the technological advances in the SPD arena. St. Luke’s is investing significant effort into their hiring and training process that will continue to decrease turnover and cost to the health system. The concepts of a mandatory two-hour shadowing experience prior to interview and hire, as well as a 400 hour externship before becoming a permanent employee, should significantly impact the turnover in the group employed less than one year. They have set good goals for the future, but did not demonstrate a clear documentation process for their quality management system (project documentation, process maps, root cause analysis). Overall St. Luke’s seems to have a fantastic program, and definitely are moving in the right direction.”

– Allison Flood, Director of Operations for SPD, LeeSar, Fort Myers, FL,
and 2017 SPD Department of the Year

“The ability to move staff and instruments to another facility is brilliant. Many need this capability, yet not many have figured it out.”

“The fact that they can move CS/SPD techs from one processing center to another is a testament to their training, teamwork and standardization of processes. The increase in tray processing volume, while at the same time [recording a] reduction in errors is quite impressive. The extensive educational program they are developing for CS/SPD techs is a very impressive strategy to address a variety of issues facing the profession: Education, turnover rates, career advancement, etc. It is a multifaceted approach to a multifaceted problem.”

“St. Luke’s delivered a solid performance expected for a ‘centralized’ SPD operation within an IDN. They demonstrated excellent reduction of IUSS – worth emulating – but left me wanting to know more. The creative ‘i-spy-the-c.i.’ concept represented a clever way to focus on reducing errors. They showed great use of Censitrac technology for tracking and IFU management and this may be one of the first SPD departments I’ve seen that plugs its own software module into EPIC to tie into the OR IT module.”

Florida Hospital, Orlando, FL, 2017 Honorable Mention and finalist

“Florida Hospital Orlando has made some very significant investments in their Central Services department, including RFID tracking for infusion pumps, Censitrac, Hanel Supply Tracking, and In-line Sonic Sinks. They demonstrated the ability to do root cause analysis and see a project through from start to finish with their reallocation of the work of cleaning infusion pumps. However, they did not thoroughly demonstrate metrics for how any of the other investments are currently positively impacting their productivity, workload or ability to meet inventory needs. Overall, they appear to have the support of administration, but need to build a cohesive quality management system that they can continue to monitor and improve over several years.”

– Allison Flood, Director of Operations for SPD, LeeSar, Fort Myers, FL,
and 2017 SPD Department of the Year

“Not many believe in the RTLS systems…. I do and have seen the improvements first hand. Congratulations on this process improvement for patient safety and staff satisfaction!”

“I give them a 5 for customer service … on this new PAR level management process. They do seem to have a strong education and training program that is well-balanced between learning real-world skills through on-the-job training and the academic knowledge (e.g., standards) to earn certification.”

“What a forward-thinking SPD department using RTLS to manage supplies and equipment! Such a help to nurses! They re-engineered instrument processes using Censitrac and inventory using Hanelsoft. They showcased a solid education and training program, including cross-training on functions. Their “CS Practice Council” provides a nice touch. This facility demonstrates the right thinking on process redesign as they move ahead.”

Community Memorial Hospital, Ventura, CA, 2018 finalist

“Community appears to have made an excellent hire in their new manager. They have identified several key areas to work on, and appear to have made great first steps in the last year. By putting in place metrics and standard work, Community should be able to sustain the massive improvements they’ve made.”

– Allison Flood, Director of Operations for SPD, LeeSar, Fort Myers, FL,
and 2017 SPD Department of the Year

“I love the idea of giving staff more control in how the department functioned and allowing them to collaboratively test new ideas and theories. This empowerment to me seems like an excellent way to promote ownership of the department among staff members and build a cohesive and productive team. They went from 0 to 100 with their CS/SPD training within a year. It was impressive that they went from 0 certified to 50 percent of staff certified, and now are on track to reach 100 percent certification. They also have a wide range of educational opportunities, which seems like a great way to teach a broad range of learning styles – from seminars to tournament games.”

“Addressing ‘shift wars’ using collaborative methods is great!”

“Community tackled customer service, productivity issues immediately, and given housekeeping staff the team used creative ways to educate and train them to become SPD professionals, moving into new facility with new title tracks that top-tier departments may already have in place”

Source: Healthcare Purchasing News, March 2018