Renovation at AGH features new autoclave purchased by the community

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by Susan Hanna

 
Almonte General Hospital
The
Almonte General Hospital (AGH) has a newly renovated Central Sterilization
Reprocessing (CSR) area, including a new autoclave to sterilize instruments.

The $200,000 renovation and equipment purchase was funded by community donations,
through the AGH/Fairview Manor Foundation.

“We are so grateful to the generous donors who raised the funds for this renovation
and equipment,” says AGH Acute Care Manager Tammy Hirkala. “It accommodates our
current needs and future growth, enhances patient and staff safety and ensures
we are in full compliance with Accreditation Canada and Central Service
Association of Ontario standards.”

The CSR prepares and sterilizes instruments for the AGH Emergency Department,
Obstetrical Department, Medical-Surgical Unit, operating rooms and other areas
of the Hospital.

Used instruments are picked up every morning and brought to the CSR, where they are
decontaminated, hand-washed, inspected for damage, cleaned in a sonic washer
and then cleaned in a washer disinfector, which is like a large dishwasher. The
clean instruments are then sterilized by steam in the autoclave. The Hospital
cleans and sterilizes 40-50 trays of instruments daily.

  “The new autoclave is beautiful,” says AGH CSR Technician Lisa McPhail. “It is
larger than the old one, so we do three or four loads a day, instead of eight
or nine. It is also easier to load.”

Other enhancements to the CSR include ergonomic sinks, which go up and down to accommodate
the height of the user, a new sink and storage unit for endoscopes, a new
workstation, instrument wrapping centre and washer disinfector. The new
equipment also uses a reverse osmosis water system, which cleans the
instruments with pH-balanced water, helping to prevent damage.

  “The renovation divided the space into an area for dirty instruments and one for
clean instruments,” says Ms. Hirkala. “We also replaced all the wood with
stainless steel, which is more hygienic.”

During the July 23–August 20 renovation, AGH carried out high-level cleaning and
disinfecting in another area of the Hospital and then shipped the instruments
to the Arnprior & District Memorial Hospital for sterilization.

“We were very fortunate to partner with Arnprior during the renovation,” says Ms.
Hirkala. “Everyone worked together so well as a team.”