Archive November 2017 XVIII, No. 11

Ideas That Work: Transport Used Instruments in Restaurant Pans

stainless steel pans CATERING CASE CARTS These stainless steel pans are sturdy, secure and simple to reprocess.

Transport Used Instruments in Restaurant Pans

Sometimes you have to think outside the box, or in this case, the sterile processing department. Ideally, you want to transport dirty instruments in case carts, but they're expensive. We've found a cheaper alternative: steam table pans that we purchased from a restaurant supply store. We initially wanted smaller perforated pans for sterilizing instrument sets, an idea that brought us to the restaurant depot in the first place. When we saw larger pans with domed lids, though, we knew they'd be perfect to transport dirty instruments. So we bought 6 at less than $50 each.

The pans have been a great success on all fronts. For starters, they're much sturdier than plastic bins, securely containing all instruments while sitting on top of our carts so no one is at risk of exposure in passing. They're also very easy to clean, taking only 10 minutes in our washer after each use. Plus, they accelerate instrument removal after a case. Once the instruments are in, we spray them with an enzymatic foam cleaner and secure the lids, and the process starts. These pans add great value to our process for a low cost, and we don't see them being replaced any time soon. (Editor's note: A biohazardous label should be visible on the outside of the pans.)

Karen Gabbert, RN
Surgery Center of Kansas
Wichita, Kan.

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