Sterile Processing Microsystem keeps patients safe, surgeries on time

Ensuring instruments used during surgery are sterile and available is critical to

providing safe and effective patient care. Thanks to collaboration across departments, a technical hiccup that was creating regular bottlenecks for all involved has now been resolved. 

Until recently, Beaumont Health was supporting locally installed versions of Sterile Processing Microsystem systems at Beaumont, Farmington Hills, Grosse Pointe, Royal Oak and Troy, and used manual workflows for surgical instrument tracking at the remaining sites. This required frequent, individual contact with the vendor and coordination with the Information Technology team to implement necessary upgrades, resulting in delays and the absence of key functionality. SPM also provides proactive sterilization quality assurance, instrument usage analysis, and staff productivity measures to enable performance improvement.  

“Central Processing wanted to improve efficiency and reduce surgery prep time with fewer errors,” said Michelle Simon, senior director of Surgical Services at Beaumont, Troy. “The manual method was prone to errors and delays, and instrument changes required opening tickets for IT — a poor use of SPM and IT staffs’ time.” 

To achieve the need for improvements, SPM was recently updated to the latest version at Dearborn, Farmington Hills, Grosse Pointe, Royal Oak and Troy. In addition, three separate databases were consolidated into a single instance of SPM, allowing for full visibility of instrument sets across the organization, easier support and maintenance and less cost. 

A bidirectional interface that sends information back and forth between oneChart and SPM automatically fills in case details for the CPD staff, speeding up the surgical trays’ preparation and allows for instrument updates in oneChart without requiring IT intervention.  

“More accurate cases are being distributed to the operating rooms for more surgeries starting on time and reducing case delays,” said Michelle Simon.  

By having the two systems “talk to each other,” the CPD is more efficient and accurate in its processes for building cases across sites. A barcode now appears on the pick sheets that, when scanned, will automatically populate the case information, reducing the need to manually type the details. Instrument availability in oneChart is always current from SPM, reducing the amount of labor required to check a separate system for this information.  

“Grosse Pointe reported saving an average of three hours per day post go-live,” said Sailesh Tyagi, IT electronic health record manager. “We are also seeing 10 fewer IT requests each month to add or modify new surgical instruments.”  

“Before the interface, any instrumentation update could take several days because it required manual upload that was scheduled once a week,” said Debbie Guido-Allen, RN, chief operating officer at Beaumont, Royal Oak. “The upgrade also helps maintain data consistency. From a workflow standpoint, this has drastically improved the case picking process. The case cart team now has direct access to the instrument needs, which has helped with throughput and team satisfaction, as well as case cart and data accuracy.” 

At Dearborn, Michele Sampson, director of Surgical Services said, “With the upgrade, we are saving two to three minutes per tray, and enjoying the new automated tracking system.” 

In September, SPM will be implemented at Taylor, Trenton and Wayne, bringing all sites on the enterprise solution. Additional functionality for the oneChart to SPM bi-directional interface will also be available soon.  

“Beaumont will benefit from SPM for many reasons,” said Jackie McKay, RN, clinical nurse manager at Beaumont, Troy. “The one that is the most impactful for us at Troy is that the additions and updates of instruments from SPM to oneChart are immediately active in the system automatically after being entered by our surgical data analyst. The previous process was to place a request with IT, and the change would take place on Thursday afternoons. So that could take a week or more, delaying the completion of the process.” 

“The CPD staff is spending less time building cases and more time processing trays, reducing the amount of work that accumulates into the evening/night shift and allowing for more sets to be available for the operating rooms,” said Michele. 

If you have any questions, please contact Sailesh Tyagi or Michelle Simon

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