After years of anticipation, George Sheffield, UTMB’s Sterile Processing Department’s program manager, and his 35 employees finally feel like they’re home. In May, the department packed up and moved into the new Clinical Services Wing, which bridges the John Sealy Hospital and the new Jennie Sealy Hospital.
It’s been quite a journey. Due to damage from Hurricane Ike in 2008, Sterile Processing was moved from the first floor of the John Sealy Hospital to Rebecca Sealy, and, for the last three years, to a temporary building on the outskirts of campus, adjacent to the Primary Care Pavilion on Harborside Drive.
“The temporary building behind the PCP was pretty cramped and challenging logistically – we had to transport instruments to and from the hospital via truck,” said Sheffield. “Now we’ve been in the CSW for nearly a month and we love it. When the Jennie Sealy Hospital opens, we are literally right around the corner, so transporting instruments back and forth will be much easier. The other huge difference is space – now we have room to really work efficiently and the whole operation runs much more smoothly.”
The bigger space includes brand new state-of-the-art equipment, including four automated washers and eight computerized workstations with bar code technology that tracks the location and movement of instruments from sterilization to dispatch to surgery and other departments throughout the UTMB network.
Sterile Processing is critical to clinical operations because it sterilizes all medical devices and instruments for UTMB, from Galveston to Huntsville. According to Sheffield, his department processes about 500 instrument trays a day.
Now that his department is unpacked and getting used to the new location, he says they feel much less isolated from the rest of campus.
“Now, we get to interact so much more with everyone at the hospital,” said Sheffield. “We’re here now and we feel like we’re part of the team.”
In addition to Sterile Processing, several core medical services staff have moved into the seven-floor Clinical Services Wing, including:
Clinical Equipment Services.
Food Services also plans on moving to the CSW this summer. Like Sterile Processing, Food Services has been located next to the PCP in temporary quarters.
Entrance points are on the 2nd and 4th levels of the John Sealy Annex.