Surgical trays with redundant instruments can increase risk.
- Anytime an instrument enters the OR there is the risk for contamination, and even if that product is not used on the patient it must undergo sterile processing.
- Mismanaged inventory creates the risk that instruments will be unavailable when they are needed for a case.
- If a tray in the OR contains instruments that are needed for another case, some facilities turn to “flash sterilization”, which may increase the risk of infection to patients.1
On the Other Hand...
"Removing unused instruments from procedure trays does not negatively impact clinical outcomes nor does it pose a risk to patients. Trays with reduced inventory can cost 40% less than trays that include redundant instruments."2 A. John-Baptiste PhD, L.J. Sowerby MD MHM, C.J. Chin MD, J. Martin PharmD MSc, B.W. Rotenberg MD MPH. Comparing surgical trays with redundant instruments with trays with reduced instruments: a cost analysis. CMAJ Open. 2016 Jul-Sep; 4(3): E404–E408. Published online 2016 Aug 10.
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