Instrument tracking software has evolved over time, from early basic applications letting Technicians identify the sterile status of a set and its location, to the newer, more sophisticated programs that help Sterile Processing Department (SPD) professionals manage different aspects of their instrument processing workflow. With increased caseloads, more complex Instructions for Use, and a need to consistently train staff, today’s instrument tracking systems still help Technicians document sterilizer loads and print out barcodes, but now software can also help inform and improve the workflow in the SPDs.1
Surgical instrument tracking software helps SPDs manage, automate, and create digital records of the sterilization process. This lets departments identify the status of a set and its current location, document sterilizer loads, and print out barcodes during assembly providing easy scanning and tracing throughout the process.
But that only scratches the surface of surgical instrument tracking software's potential. Robust tracking software can provide everything from managing nearly every aspect of processing workflow to informing and improving a SPD's overall accuracy and efficiency.
For Managers and Technicians, a fully integrated surgical instrument tracking software can:
From the conversion of paper documentation into a digital format, tracking software goes beyond locating instruments. It can track where they have been, who processed the load, while allowing departments to replace and digitize the binders and handwritten log forms.
Some examples include:
While replacing paper documentation makes record keeping easier, instrument tracking software also helps ensure technicians complete the department's processes with consistency. Instrument tracking software can help guide technicians through processing steps and help record AAMI, AORN, and SGNA compliance through every step of the process using features like guided workflows.
These benefits go beyond just digitizing records by:
For Infection Prevention and Operating Room professionals, surgical instrument tracking connects to the SPD ensuring hospital policy and quality standards are consistently met. This provides visibility to ensure the correct instruments are delivered at the right time for procedures.
Your Technicians are the Stars!
Many of the same features of instrument tracking systems that help ensure correct instrument processing and collect documentation also help make your technicians more productive, accurate, and confident. Workflows, load processing data, and sterility assurance documentation provide all the information a technician needs at their fingertips to help improve overall productivity and accuracy.
As technicians perform their guided work and progress through the screens, they are creating sterility assurance documentation. As technicians build sterilizer loads, document loaner orders, and complete guided workflows, tracking systems capture who is doing the work, the steps completed, test results, and more, making the sterility assurance documentation process an integrated part of the workflow.
When a quality issue arises, the event is easily identified, including affected sets and information about potentially affected cases. These quality features allow for easy documentation and follow-up tasks for root cause investigations.
Other quality assurance features often include:
Use data to unlock the potential of your SPD
Along with the quality of the department's processes and outcomes, instrument tracking systems can also help improve the SPD's overall efficiency and effectiveness. With the combination of basic tracking, the right technician doing the right task, and a view into every aspect of an instrument's journey, measurable productivity gains can be realized for your department, including:
Sophisticated instrument tracking systems provide a configurable dashboard feature to allow quick, easy access to key performance indicators. Key performance indicators can help an SPD run more efficiently via reports that include:
Sterile Processing Department information system can support much more than basic track and trace functions. The additional features can provide the information to help optimize reprocessing consistency, quality, productivity, and compliance. As caseloads grow, reporting identifies and justifies growth and headcount needs for the SPD.
Explore Sterile Processing Microsystems (SPM) Software and learn how an instrument tracking software can transform instrument reprocessing from reactive to proactive with insights from one of the most sophisticated surgical instrument tracking tools on the market.