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5 REASONS TO ADOPT CME TRACEABILITY PROCESSES FOR SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS

The Central Material Storage and Sterilization Unit (CME) has as its mission to supply the healthcare services with processed materials, maintaining the quantity and quality necessary for safe care.





With the technological advances and the development of surgical techniques, surgical instruments have become more sophisticated and complex, thus raising the need to improve the material handling techniques and ensure their traceability.


Traceability


Traceability is the ability to trace the history of health product processing and use through previously recorded information.


One of the ways to ensure traceability is by keeping records. The processing steps of the health products (surgical instruments) must be documented and recorded to ensure the reproducibility and traceability of the processes, containing the input and output records of all products processed in the CME.


The traceability of the health products requires certain information that must be mentioned in these records, such as: the date, the name of the instrument, the quantity, the lot/serial number, and the recipient to be designated.


The records of the processing steps of the products must be filed, in order to maintain their traceability for a minimum period of 5 (five) years, for the purpose of health inspection.


CME employees must register all data related to their distribution and use in order to facilitate traceability, contributing to greater safety for the user and the professional.


Traceability in the CME sector controls, tracks, and generates information for the service with greater precision, thereby reducing risks. The materials can receive barcode labels that allow the entry into the system from the moment they enter the sector until they are stored for future use.


RFID "Radio-Frequency IDentification" is one of the current technologies used in traceability processes. It is a wireless system that uses radio waves to assign identity (in the form of a code) to an electronic tag. The electronic labels (tags) store more information than barcodes, and the data transmitted by the electronic label can provide part or equipment identification, or equipment-specific information. The solution for traceability of equipment, allows greater organization of the flow of materials, reducing the time of searching for the instruments and avoiding losses.


Benefits of adopting automated traceability


A CME with an automated information system should contain a traceability system with barcodes or QR codes. With this, the professionals working in the CME can track the movement of materials during the processing cycle and the registration of the health product. Below are some benefits that a traceability system can offer.


1. Fast Trackability

The traceability of health products facilitates the control of the sterilizable material inventory throughout its use chain and makes it easier to identify the sectors or teams that caused losses or damages to the materials.


2. Reduction of instrument losses

The person in charge of the team can maintain the traceability of the instruments by performing a checklist of received items, thus reducing the loss of materials.


3. Production of reports

The registration of materials and processing steps in the CME can generate a variety of reports that assist in the management of the instruments.


4. Identification of the processed lot

In the CME, all healthcare materials must be documented in order to ensure the traceability of each processed lot. With this, there is the need for the identification of each lot.


All materials must be registered with the batch number, the code that is equivalent to the type of processing, the equipment used, and the employee who performed the processing, thus allowing the traceability of the material, the date of the process, the parameters of the equipment, and the result of the tests.


5. Security

With a management system in the CME it is possible to ensure the security of the information of the entire process through the traceability of the items.


Final Considerations


The material traceability supports the hospital institution that all the material processing parameters (cleaning, disinfection, preparation, and sterilization) are respected according to the pre-established standards.


Besides this, it helps in the consumption statistics and stock control of the units, avoiding shortages or unnecessary requests. The absence of material control in the CME may favor the stocking of little-used materials with a consequent loss of time and validity.


Finally, keeping traceability within the CME is of great relevance to patient safety and of great interest to public health, since each and every surgical procedure presents an inherent risk. Thus, technical and scientific knowledge is of utmost importance to provide adequate assistance to the patient.


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