In the sterile processing industry, we hear it all the time “manual cleaning is the most important step in instrument reprocessing,” but do we believe it? There’s no time like the present to reevaluate our standard practices and invest time and resources into continuous improvement. It’s time to pause and evaluate what we are spending our money, time, and educational resources on. Budgets can be a great tool to tell us where we put our money, and they can also tell us where our priorities lie. If we look closely, we can easily identify what we value most in our department by what we prioritize budget dollars for. But, does that align with our beliefs? If you find that brushes and other cleaning implements that are required for manual cleaning of instruments are low on your list of priorities, but instrument repair costs are a large portion of your budget, then your department may put more value on repairing instruments than implementing an effective preventative maintenance program. Sterile processing departments must prioritize having the cleaning tools they need to clean the broad range of instruments that flow through the department every day and our budgets should reflect it. Too often we see a reactive approach to challenges in our industry, I say, it’s time to take a proactive approach.
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