A pressurized health system
After two years of COVID-19, healthcare staff are at breaking point and suffering burnout. A recent survey found that healthcare staff in England are quitting in record numbers
, with over 400 leaving the NHS every week in a bid to improve their work-life balance.
With reduced staffing levels and cuts to NHS funding, existing healthcare professionals are finding themselves with ever-larger workloads and dwindling resources – which, in turn, affects the quality of patient care offered. When people are overstretched, the frequency of errors and mistakes increases and it's happening in CSSDs too.
Increasing efficiencies across healthcare systems are vital to ensuring the retention of skilled healthcare professionals and upholding a high quality of care. Unfortunately, steps to increase efficiency come with compromises in quality, but new technologies mean that there no longer has to be a trade-off.Efficiencies without compromise
CSSDs are a vital part of the care pathway, ensuring surgical instruments are correctly prepared and sterilized for surgery. Experienced technicians are hard to come by, and with people leaving the healthcare profession in droves, the remaining staff find themselves under increased pressure.
So, how can CSSDs increase the efficiency and capacity of their skilled technicians while upholding, and even improving, the quality of their services? There are a few key areas where technology can help drive efficiencies AND quality in sterile service divisions:
- Reduce the time taken to identify and find surgical equipment – automatic instrument tracking and inventory management helps technicians find instruments quickly and accurately.
- Reduce the costs associated with lost and broken instruments – real-time insights into surgical instrument use help CSSD technicians pack surgical trays more efficiently, reducing penalties associated with overloaded trays and reducing processing costs.
- Reduce the number of staff needed to pack trays: technology can act as a second pair of eyes and ears in CSSDS (and in surgery) providing confidence in decisions and helping minimize errors
- Increase capacity across technical teams: A streamlined workflow and reduced time spent on individual tasks frees up time for technicians to get on top of their other tasks and helps reduce overwork and burnout.
At Scalpel, we know that technology can help strengthen CSSD teams, even under pressure. Our platform uses computer vision to automate instrument recognition and tracking, helping to improve the inefficiencies which plague CSSDs, and increase the capacity – and quality – of technicians' work.