Posted On September 25, 2014 By In Top Stories With 3567 Views

No Germs Around Here: A Conversation with Barb Mollberg, Clinical Nurse Coordinator, SPH Operating Rooms

Barb, how long have you been at Saanich Peninsula Hospital?

I have worked at SPH, in a variety of roles, for 17 years. I am proud to live and work in this wonderful community.

Have you seen a lot of changes in how things are done in the OR?

In recent years there have been many changes in the OR. Advancements with instrumentation and improvements in surgical procedure have meant shorter stays in hospital for patients. In many cases patients have surgery and go home the same day, where in the past they would have been hospitalized for days.

How does the Saanich Peninsula Hospital stack up?

Our current Medical Device Reprocessing Department (MDRD or sterilization) is located away from our operating rooms, which, when built, was not considered a concern. Back then, the cleaning process would start in the OR, but this no longer meets standards. Used instruments move in closed carts to MDRD for cleaning, but the space is small and crowded. We have upgraded, but lack space for newer processing equipment.

Is there a problem now?

I wouldn’t call it a problem – we are acknowledged for exceptionally high standards by teams of accreditation inspectors; however, our MDRD should be attached to our operating rooms. In addition to meeting the highest standards, it will ease workflow and improve efficiency.

It’s a lot of money – approximately $4 million. Why do we need a new sterilization suite?

When our new state-of-the-art operating rooms were built, the latest approach to sterilization was incorporated into the design, but we couldn’t afford to build the sterilization department. Building it near the OR’s will create a “closed loop” system, in which sterilized surgical instruments move, in closed carts, into a sterile hallway or core (where only sterile equipment is stored). From the core, there is a door into each operating room. Instrument carts move through the door into the OR before each case. Post surgery, soiled instruments are placed back in carts and transported to MDRD through a different hallway to the decontamination side of the MDRD. After being washed and disinfected, they pass to the “clean” side of the MDRD for inspection and packaging into sets. Finally, the sets are sterilized. After sterilization, they are housed in the sterile side of MDRD, ready for use. This is what we are striving for.

Will it make a big difference?

It is the final piece of the most advanced OR’s on Vancouver Island and will improve efficiency and workflow greatly. On behalf of the staff, surgeons, anaesthetists and physicians, I’d like to thank the community for their tremendous support.



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