June 2, 2020

CSSD on the move

In the coming months, the Central Sterilising Services Department (CSSD) at Northern Hospital Epping will be preparing to move into their new home in the tower.

Sometimes known as the “heart of the hospital”, the CSSD is a 24/7 department that cleans, disinfects and sterilises all reusable medical devices used in procedures, providing services to the operating theatres and other departments and campuses of Northern Health.

The move comes as part of the Northern Hospital Stage 2 Expansion Project. Led by Nurse Unit Manager, Evient Koh, the team have been working hard to undertake extra training, implement new technology and take on more roles as part of a new model of care.

This includes taking over the management of orthopaedic loan equipment, reprocessing of endoscopes, set-ups of theatre lists and centralising reprocessing of reusable medical devices from the clinics.

The CSSD team, in collaboration with the supply department, have also helped to realign the role of supplying and managing ward and clinic imprest stock and transition this service to the supply department to form part of a standard ordering process.

The team are looking forward to moving into their new location, and they will have a larger space to work in, including a separate area for each stage of the sterilisation process.

“In the tower, we will also have more equipment and it’s going to be more spacious than what we currently have,” said Melanie Almazan, Associate Nurse Unit Manger.

The process will also become more efficient as they will have access to larger washers and more sterilisers to increase production.

Introduced last year, the team have been using an innovative new tracking system which enables them to track patients and the instruments used on them.

“This is important because if we need to check if an instrument was processed accordingly for a certain patient – for example if they had an infection – then we can prove it was processed correctly,” Melanie said.

The system also allows the team to check which staff members handled which instruments, as well as keep track of the number of instruments and how many are out for repair.

“Just last month we also started Antigermix – a new high level disinfection, so we are centralising all the cleaning processes in CSSD,” Melanie said.

“I’m very thankful for the staff because with all of this technology, they really have taken the time to learn, and they have been very positive in accepting the changes. As soon as we explained it to them, the staff were quite open with it, so we are happy that from all the senior staff to the junior staff they are taking this on with open arms, and our manager has been explaining it to all of us as well,” Melanie said.

“I would like to thank all our staff who had been very resilient with the many changes that have taken place in our department in the past year. Our staff have taken over the management of loan equipment in both Broadmeadows and Northern Hospital, endoscope processing in Northern Hospital, set-up of theatre lists in Broadmeadows and scheduled to commence in Northern Hospital in June – all of which were previously the responsibility of the theatre nursing staff,” Evient Koh said.

“We are all very excited and looking forward to moving into our new department and it is only possible because of the team work and support given to the management and each other as we embrace Northern Health’s value of being Kind, Safe and Together,” Evient added.