LTrace – Sterilisation Tracking Made Easy
The LTrace software and process was developed to meet the Quality Assurance requirements of
- Sterile Service Departments both large and small,
- General Practictioners,
where the tracking of sterilised item from the moment of sterilisation to the moment of use is essential. The information and procedures it brings will assist in ensuring that the requirements for accreditation are easily met.
- By simply scanning a tray to immediately see:
- Count sheet
- Warnings of old or overused instruments
- Knowing exactly where all your trays are at any time
- Being able to recall an entire load with a click of the button
- Know which items were used on a patient and:
- who used them next
- who used them previously
- when they were decontaminated and sterilised before and with what other items
- when they were decontaminated and sterilised after and with what other items
- by which surgeon, in which theatre, with what other staff
- Be able to fast track an item through the process so that staff are aware of the item every step of the way through. In fact, you can plan the day in advance and determine which items will need to be fast tracked.
- Manage loan sets both from other facilities and to other facilities.
- Be able to implement a tracking system within 24 hours and start receiving the benefits immediately.
But most all, imagine being able to do it all QUICKLY and SIMPLY.
An effective sterilisation process not only requires the production of sterile devices but also requires complete traceability and accountability. Unfortunately we tend to link traceability and accountability with extra work and extra expense.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. In fact, a truly effective process should simplify the work and streamline the paperwork so that you can focus on the real job – providing sterile devices.
And a good sterilising tracking system should save you time and money both day to day and when problems arise. So no longer is it a case of “when we can afford it” but is now a case of “we can’t afford to be without one”.
In order to provide assurance that items are sterile, the SSD must monitor every stage of the process.
Validation is an essential part sterility assurance. Validation is basically being able to prove beyond doubt that the equipment works and that the department can repeatedly produce sterile products by using a proven system which includes quality control measures.
The LTrace software is designed to assist in the recording of results as well as, where possible, ensuring that a process is followed. It is critical to remember that LTrace can not provide assurance on its own. It relies on staff having good procedures and that they follow them.
In particular, there are no substitutes for visual inspection and common sense. The LTrace system should not distract staff from inspecting items nor using common sense to handle emergencies and exceptions to the rule.
Software or Procedures
The LTrace software and the procedures should be tightly integrated. While many features in LTrace are optional, ignoring them may produce assurance gaps. For example, counting items in and out of the usage area is optional. Experience, however, has shown that all theatres should take a very active role in ensuring that all items are accounted for at the end of the surgery.
At the same time LTrace does provide flexibility to adapt to current procedures or work flow. For example, when recording which items were sterilised in a batch it is possible to:
- Record them as the labels are printed,
- Record them before the sterilisation process using a scanner,
- Record them after the sterilisation process using a scanner,
- Record them using the computer.
Each option has its own set of advantages and is a matter of personal choice