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The Office of Sterile Processing (OSP)

Office of Sterile Processing (OSP) - Accomplishments​​

Sterile Processing Service (SPS) Workforce Modernization Efforts

  • Workgroup implemented / sponsored by OSP in collaboration with Workforce Management & Consultation (WMC) and key SPS stakeholders.
  • Developed and submitted revised qualification standards and functional statements for core SPS technical and administrative positions.
  • Conducted salary analysis to justify SPS Special Salary Rates (SSR) resulting in >90 (70% of facilities) that have or are in the process of establishing SSRs.
  • SPS was approved for inclusion in the VA Technical Career Field (TCF) Program in efforts to improve career ladder progression opportunities within VHA SPS.
  • Program established, program manager designated, curriculum and program schedule developed and preceptors selected and TCF trainees selected and are in the initial phase of beginning training.

Document Control Systems (DCS)

  • Assisted facility and Veteran Integrated Service Network (VISN) SPS programs with customer support and development of DCS to standardize business and clinical practices throughout VHA.
  • Initial reviews and full quality checks conducted to determine functionality for all SPS DCS systems.
  • Over 80% of existing DCS sites improved using power automate (this constituted a full rebuild of each system) and full help desk support provided to each facility.

Reusable Medical Device (RMD) Assessment Processes & Data Indicators

  • Implemented special project team focused on analyzing and cross-walking SPS data points to proactively identify risk to develop actions to reduce or mitigate risk in VHA facilities.
  • Point in Time (PIT) Tabletop Exercise designed and conducted to verify national SPS processes and validate sustainability. The exercise required the involvement of many different leaders and stakeholders across each medical center to collectively provide responses with a goal of improving collaboration, cohesiveness and operational support efficiencies in each medical facility in support of safe Veteran care.

SPS Education

  • Implemented the Sterile Processing Education Committee (SPEC) comprised of OSP staff, facility and national SPS leaders to comprehensively support the VHA SPS field by developing SPS leaders and programs through education. The SPEC workgroup developed a four-year strategic plan to standardize education programs for VHA SPS staff, established sub-groups to develop core components of orientation and developed core competencies needed for critical SPS positions to ensure staff trained appropriately to perform reprocessing duties.

SPS Specific Purpose Funding (SPF) Program

  • 100% of program funds tracked, monitored and distributed in line with program goals to standardize, upgrade and improve SPS operations.
  • The SPF program provided field assistance for some of the following critical items in FY22:
    • Borescope Visual inspection scopes and fibers (total of $1,127,215.65 in funding provided to 33 sites). The borescope will be used to inspect surgical instruments to ensure internal lumens are free of biological residue (e.g., skin, bone, blood, and rust) to ensure safe patient care. The implementation of a borescope based SPS inspection protocol will result in improved overall process quality and potentially fewer surgical site infections.
    • Sterilizers both Steam and H202 (total of $4,648,702.70 provided to 21 sites) Sterilizers are used to kill all living pathogens, to include spores, from medical and surgical instruments to prevent disease transmission to patients.
    • Censis equipment / service and subscription assistance ($3,051,418.88 in funding provided to 36 sites). Funding used for the CensiTrac instrument tracking system and included marking services, hardware/equipment, data optimization and service upgrades.
    • Endoscope Lease assistance ($8,900,000.00 provided to 16 VISN’s). Leasing assistance provided for endoscopes which allows facilities to use a cost-per-procedure agreement and the manufacturer will supply the endoscope, computer / video support, clean equipment and provide maintenance services which provides a significant cost savings to the VA and ensures safe quality instruments are used.