The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) has developed a new tool that will help sterile processing departments measure their performance against similar departments across the country.
Sterile Processing Benchmarks addresses a gaping need in the sterile processing field and helps managers gather accurate data that can be used for process improvement, said Judy Veale, a consultant based in Colorado Springs, Colo., and one of the sterilization experts who developed the tool.
The online-based tool is available on an annual subscription basis, and AAMI is offering an introductory rate of $600 for AAMI members and $700 for non-members until June 30.
Once they subscribe, managers fill out a survey with more than 130 benchmarking measures and metrics on topics such as staffing, budgeting, productivity levels, error rates, and performance monitoring in decontamination, preparation and packaging, and sterilization.
Another category managers might find useful is the number of certified workers in a department. "Certification is of great deal of interest to managers," Veale said. "With this tool, you can compare the number of certified people in your department vs. a comparable department in another facility."
The benchmarking tool also helps a department examine its relationship with clinicians, and the role of sterile processing in the hospital. "There are questions on how much the department participates in policy development at the hospital," Veale said.
After answering the questions, department managers can review the results and compare their facility to others. They will be able to select hospitals by a particular region, size, or work volume.
"The size of a healthcare facility is not necessarily always the key measure," Veale said. "The work volume is the key measure. People will be able to compare their own data to departments that have comparable work volume in terms of the number of surgical procedures performed at a facility annually."
In addition to the list rate and AAMI member rate, there are pricing categories for multiple facility systems and for companies and consultants that are not entering data but want to view the results. For more information on the tool, visit www.aami.org/spb.