St. Francis unveils new sterilization room

BARRY’S BAY – Staff unveiled what is quite possibly the cleanest department at St. Francis Memorial Hospital on April 25. 
That day, staff cut the ribbon for the brand new medical devices reprocessing department, which sterilizes reusable medical devises. 
Originally the department was located in one room, meaning soiled and sterilized materials were processed in the same area. More recently, changes were necessary in order to comply with the Canadian Standards Association and the provincial infectious disease advisory committee.
The new department is located in two rooms, connected only by a small window and a double-door disinfecting machine. 
Contaminated items enter in the first room where they are prewashed and put into the disinfector. 
“This machine, when it gets going, it’s awesome,” Medical Device Reprocessing Technician Joyce Lapinski enthusiastically said. 
When items are thoroughly washed, they can be retrieved in the next-door sterilized room. Afterwards, they are packaged and set in the steam sterilizer for further disinfection. The sterilizer keeps a paper record of each cleaning, which the hospital must keep on file for at least seven years.
Each instrument package is marked with a load number so if sterility is in question, each item can be easily located.
Essentially, this means an added level of safety for patients, Director of Patient Services Joan Kuiack said. 


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