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Central Sterile Service Departments – efficient and high quality handling of sterile equipment
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Central Sterile Service Departments – efficient and high quality handling of sterile equipment

In the Capital Region of Denmark, the Central Sterile Service Depart-ments (CSSD) for all hospitals in the region will be centralized at two departments in Herlev and at Rigs-hospitalet respectively. The purpose of centralizing the regional CSSDs is to collect sterile goods from hospitals in the region and process these in fully auto-mated high-performing facilities. The benefits of centralizing the CSSD processes and storage of surgical instruments in the regional facilities are to increase the availability of surgical instruments and to increase the quality of CSSD processes and docu-mentation to a consistently high level with less manual interactions. Furthermore, the automated handling also improves hygiene and reduces the risk of infections. 

The two regional CSSDs are fully automatic and use industrial robots to handle manual and repetitive tasks to eliminate manual handling and minimize the risk of errors. The two facilities have identical processes and run repetitive operations in a well-proven concept known from IT data centers. If one CSSD is affected by contamination, fire, flooding, power outage or other incidents, the other CSSD can immediately take over its operations. Both CSSDs are managed by common

control and tracking systems and they are able to handle sterile goods for all hospitals in the region, while they are connected to certain groups of hospitals. 

An increased turnaround of surgical instruments is expected with less instruments sitting dormant in local hospital department stocks. Instruments needed for acute cases will still be available from small local onhand stock for fast response, but the majority of instruments will be in daily circulation through the regional CSSDs. 

To make the concept of the regional CSSDs work well, it has to ensure that instruments are available for stakeholders in hospitals whenever needed. Trust in the concept is built and maintained by providing accurate and real-time location and tracking information on the whereabouts of instruments, not just inside the CSSD processes, but also on the logistic trail between the CSSD and hospital departments. 

This information is provided by RFID (radio-frequency identification) and barcode technology. Instruments and equipment are carefully registered and a sophisticated database tracks and monitors instruments that enters and leaves the automated warehouse and keeps a tally on every single shelf space.

Since every product needed at the hospitals and the location of each instrument inside the warehouse is registered in the database, an optimized route can be provided for restocks. 

Once instruments leave the warehouse, they can be accurately tracked on their way between the CSSD and hospital departments. The sterile goods tracking solution provides objective tracking information that represents the real logistics flow of instruments and is unedited by any stakeholder. Arrival times for instruments can be predicted based on the tracking information and hospital depart-ments can be notified upon arrival of instruments. 

The objective tracking information is also a valid input for optimization of logistics processes as it reveals any delays, bottlenecks and performance deviations in the sterile goods flow. 

Detailed and specific registration of instruments and equipment can also provide data to increase patient safety through patient related tracing. This way, patients can be identified later, if they need re-treatment due to problems with certain series of equipment or supplies.

Capital Region of Denmark - Key Figures