St. Luke’s showcased its $4 million renovation of the post anesthesia
care unit (PACU) and sterile processing department at an open house on
January 7. The brand new PACU, centrally located on the fourth floor of
the hospital, is accessible from both the new Surgical & Procedural
Care area and the existing operating rooms. “We went from nine beds
to 14 beds,” explained Dr. Andrea Benson, St. Luke’s anesthesiologist.
The 14-bed unit includes three private recovery rooms that can be used
as a baby bonding area for new mothers who gave birth via cesarean section.
All of the beds maintain a gold standard bed footprint with open access
to the patient’s head for easy airway management—a must in
post anesthesia care. Doors to the new PACU open to surgical patients
on January 11.
St. Luke’s new sterile processing department features state-of-the-art
Getinge sterilization equipment. The department is designed to have one-way
flow from decontamination, to preparation and packaging, and finally sterilization.
This reduces risk of instrument contamination, ultimately benefitting
everyone involved from the sterile processing staff to the patient.
Features of the new sterile processing department include:
- Height adjustable sinks
- Ergonomic tray-packing stations
- Five surgical instrument washer-disinfectors with automated loading technology
- Two cart washer-disinfectors
- Two steam sterilization units
- Equipment tracking program
The height adjustable equipment was specially chosen for optimal employee
comfort, keeping with St. Luke’s dedication to patient and employee
safety. “We are one of the first hospitals in Minnesota to have
this equipment,” said Tom Kasell, St. Luke’s sterile processing
department manager. “It really is state-of-the-art.”
The surgical instrument washer-disinfectors feature an automated loading
system that recognizes which washers are available, which surgical instruments
are being loaded, and which cycles to run, leading to a 33% increase in
output. The new equipment has also doubled the sterilizer capacity, allowing
more instrument trays to be ready for surgery at once.
BELOW: Newly remodeled post anesthesia care unit (PACU)
Dr. Andrea Benson, St. Luke's anesthesiologist, explains the new features
of the PACU
State-of-the-art sterile processing department