Above photo: Members of the MDRD team at VGH.
For the second year in a row, the Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) and University of British Columbia (UBC) Hospital Medical Device Reprocessing Department (MDRD) received perfect scores in its six Ministry of Health (MoH) reprocessing practice improvement audits. The audits are conducted annually to ensure MDRD is meeting best practices and Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standards.
“These are rigorous audits; one of them had 243 checklist points that had to be reviewed," says Albert Csapo, director of Utilization, Perioperative Services, Vancouver Acute. Albert oversees the department and was its manager for nine years. “We've always been really good, but now we're perfect. We're always seeking new ways to improve."
MDRD is responsible for inspecting, maintaining, sterilizing and disinfecting more than one million medical devices every year. These range from a simple pair of scissors to complex endoscopes. Staff ensure the equipment functions as expected and is safe to reuse. The 24/7 operation also supports UBC Hospital, GF Strong and 12 Vancouver community sites. And, because VGH is home to the only Ethylene Oxide sterilization in the Lower Mainland, the team sterilizes select instruments for St. Paul's Hospital, BC Cancer Agency, BC Children's and Fraser Health as well.
MOH audits check that staff are part of medical device purchasing decisions, that strict environmental requirements are met, and assess factors affecting the efficacy of sterilization. They also ensure that policies and procedures, as well as education and training, are up to date.
The department's manager, Irena Tabachnicov, knows how valuable her team is.
“I'm grateful to have support from six wonderful coordinators as well as an amazing educator who is always staying on top of new technologies and keeping the rest of the staff trained," she says. “There are approximately 150 people in the department here at VGH as well as at UBC Hospital and the satellite sites. They are all highly professional, educated and well trained in workplace policies and procedures. Their hard work means great outcomes for patients."
Perfect scores on ministry audits don't happen by chance.
“It comes down to three things—and if any are missing, it's impossible to score 100 per cent," says Albert. “MDRD's leadership is exceptional and ensures all areas are functioning at their highest levels. The staff are extremely dedicated and put patients first. And, senior leadership has always supported the portfolio and provided the resources required to maintain the highest standards."