Submitted by Oswego Health
The staff of Oswego Hospital’s central sterile supply department, which serves as the first line of defense in infection control, has achieved 100 percent national certification, and it is believed to be the only hospital in Central New York to reach this accomplishment.
Each employee in the department is certified as a central service technician by the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Material Management (IAHCSMM). To become certified, staff members acquired 400 hours of hands on experience in the field and participate in an independent study class before taking a three-hour national certification examination. To remain current in their certification, each employee must earn a minimum of 12 continuing education credits a year.
“We are responsible for breaking the chain of infection,” said Central Sterile Supply Manager Bruce Krolikowski. “I am very proud of my department and that each staff member has become certified.”
Before a surgeon can make that initial incision, Oswego Hospital’s team of skilled central sterile supply department professionals have worked diligently to ensure that each and every instrument is properly decontaminated, sterilized, well-functioning, and available when needed.
At Oswego Hospital, the central sterile staff is responsible for the cleaning and sterilization of more than 2,236 trays of instruments each month. Depending upon the procedure to be performed, some trays have only a handful of instruments, while others may contain more than 100 instruments.
In addition to these instruments, the department also prepares on average nearly 400 scopes used monthly in one of the hospital’s three endoscopy suites.
Preventable hospital infections have recently been in the national news as national Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius launched a new Partnership for Patients initiative that aims to reduce hospital infections as well as patient readmissions after hospital discharge.
Oswego Hospital’s rate of infection is well below the state benchmarks for hospitals of a similar size. Hospital rates of infection are reviewed by the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) and that data is used to improve patient safety at the local and national levels. The NHSN is managed by the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion (DHQP) at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Oswego Healthcare System includes Oswego Hospital, The Manor at Seneca Hill, a skilled nursing facility; Springside at Seneca Hill, a retirement living community; an urgent care center in Fulton, as well as health services centers in Mexico, Parish and Phoenix. For more information, call (315) 349-5500 or visit oswegohealth.org.