Rigid sterilization containers can be a sustainable, safe alternative to polypropylene “blue wrap” for sterile operating room equipment.
Incorporating the cost of rigid sterilization containers into annual capital budgeting processes such that requests for new instrument sets include a rigid sterilization container can help offset upfront cost, especially when used on high-volume, commonly used instrument sets or items. The effort has long-term cost-saving benefits by reducing the amount of blue wrap and other single-use sterilization materials, like sterile indicator tape, which may require special disposal if lead-based, as well as reducing the workload of the sterile processing department, and the need for flash sterilization when the sterile wrap is accidentally torn.
MetroWest Medical Center Natick and Framingham now use rigid sterilization containers for two-thirds of their surgical instrumentation, reducing surgical waste by 40 percent and streamlining equipment movement from sterile processing to the operating room.
Rigid sterilization containers have many additional benefits, including:
- Protect instruments from damaging drops
- Allow for better organization of instrument sets
- Prevent breakthrough issues that require re-sterilization
Practice Greenhealth offers tools and resources that help our members move away from single-use medical plastics, including disposable sterilization wrap. Our goal is to provide step-by-step resources that make it simpler for any hospital to design, implement, and measure the success of these efforts and address any challenges along the way.