Central Service: The Heart of the Hospital

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The following article is written by Matt Smith, marketing analyst for Healthmark Industries Co.

If you are new to the healthcare industry like I am, you might have walked through the hospital doors as a visitor or a patient before. You may have even been on numerous floors and seen different departments, but many of us have never experienced what really goes on in the basement. In the basement lies one of most important places in the hospital and goes by many names, but is most commonly referred to as the "central service" department.

 

The purpose of the CS department is to conserve time and duplication of efforts by centralizing the area where surgical products are cleaned and sterilized. This is the area where sterile supplies are provided for the care of the patients.

 

The concept of the central service room isn't new and has been in place in most hospitals for many years. It became a popular practice when hospital administrators realized how much time, effort and money were wasted by each floor dressing and sterilizing their own surgical supplies. The aim of the CS department is to render the most efficient service in the interest of the patients and reducing the chance of cross-contamination.

 

Many technological advances have changed the way surgical instruments and equipment are reprocessed. Many facilities now require their central supply employees to become certified in order to use equipment such as washer decontaminators, cart washers, utensil washers, ultrasonic cleaners, steam cleaners, ethylene oxide sterilizers, low temperature sterilizers and aeration cabinets.

 

These advances and preparation have not only made sterile processing more efficient, but have also improved the safety of patients in healthcare facilities.

 

Just as the heart is the main pump supplying the body with its vital nutrients, so does central service do the same function of supplying the hospital or medical facility with its vital supplies for patient care.

 

So during this Central Service Week, taking place Oct. 9-15, remember to give CS professionals a pat on the back. Without their tireless efforts, other departments in the hospital wouldn't be able to carry out their lifesaving roles.

 

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