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Central Sterile Processing Named Department of the Year

Healthcare Purchasing News (HPN), which provides clinical intelligence for supply chain leadership monthly in print and daily online, named the Central Sterile Processing team at Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC), as its 21st Annual Sterile Processing & Distribution (SPD) Department of the Year Award recipient.


PRMC is the Delmarva region’s largest, most advanced care facility, and has been providing healthcare services to Delmarva Peninsula residents since 1897. 


Embarking on a process improvement initiative three years ago, PRMC applied Lean methodologies and Six Sigma tools to construct new surgical suites and renovate existing ones as part of a 50,000-square foot expansion master plan.


Led by Eddie Conklin, CRCST/CHL, Central Processing Manager, Surgical Services, a long-term machine tool and die maker by trade, PRMC’s CSP team overcame barriers and pain points that had left a legacy of poor customer service and quality control issues.     


The comprehensive and fundamental plan they set in motion inspired HPN to shine a spotlight on PRMC’s 22-member Central Sterile Processing department, according to HPN Senior Editor Rick Dana Barlow.


“PRMC’s CSP team clearly demonstrated a desire to toss out the status quo even though the odds and perceived peer pressure seemed to run counter to their success,” Barlow said. “Collectively, this team persevered through thick and thin, and their customers, as well as PRMC patients, are better off for it.”


Conklin, along with project partner Laura McIntyre, OR/CSP/Cath Lab Materials Manager, used the time during construction and renovation to establish priorities and “learn by doing,” so that when Surgical Services began operating in their new and renovated operating rooms, CSP and Materials Management would have cemented their process improvements, “delivering the measurable outcomes we promised in the design/planning phase,” noted Conklin.  


With a lofty “breakthrough goal” of having everything the OR needed for the day processed by 7:00 a.m. that day – the CSP team tested and tried a series of “extreme schemes” to come up with one high performing hybrid model.


As proof of concept, since October 2010, PRMC’s CSP has reduced inventory by $350,000 in the first year, inventory touch time by four hours per day and obsolete products by 2 percent per year. They improved service levels to 99 percent from below 50 percent and saved 50 percent of space by “right-sizing” inventory and storing it at the point of use. They’ve been stockout-free for more than a year, and cycle times dropped to more than 8 hours from 72. 


“Peninsula Regional has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to using LEAN principles to improve processes and in turn patient care across all continuums,” said Steve Leonard, Vice President, Operations Optimization and Innovation at PRMC.  “It’s rewarding to see the dedicated and innovative work of our Central Sterile Processing team recognized nationally with this prestigious honor.”


Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s Central Sterile Processing department is featured in HPN’s May 2013 edition. To read the article online go to http://www.hpnonline.com/inside/2013-05/1305-SPDDOY.html.