Jewish Hospital Continues to Raise the Bar on Sterile Processing

Jewish Hospital

Sterile Processing Department Team Members at Jewish Hospital with Triple Crown-certification, from left to right:
John Rowe (Instrument Coordinator), Shirley Raque (Quality Assurance Specialist), Irvin Francis Kyle III (Tech II), Arlene Scisney (Tech II) and Robert Parker (Manager).

Not Pictured: Weston (Hank) Balch (Director), Karen Owens (PRN), Kyle Berry (Tech II), Ross Crump (Supervisor) and Skip Smith (Supervisor).

Jewish Hospital’s Sterile Processing Department is being featured as the cover story for the international industry magazine Communiqué (see link to view issue).

The magazine is featuring the team’s triple certification success (referred to as “Triple Crown”) for sterile processing. The kudos also reflect the major strides the team has made in quality and safety as it relates to surgical instrument processing standards.

Today, Jewish Hospital’s Sterile Processing Department is ranked third in the entire world for employing triple-certified technicians. The ranking is done by the International Association of Health Care Central Service Materials Management (IAHCSMM).

The department has 10 technicians who are Triple Crown-certified, which means they have completed not only the required CRCST certification (which stands for certified registered central services technician) but also the CIS (certified instrument specialist) and the CHL (certified in health care leadership) as well.

According to Weston “Hank” Balch, CRCST, CIS, CHL, the director of Sterile Processing Operations for Jewish Hospital and the University of Louisville Hospital, these additional certifications add to the professionalism of the department by giving the techs “the ability to communicate with the doctors on a peer level,” he said. “In addition, they have the technical knowledge to educate the rest of the facility in matters concerning sterilization, microbiology and standards of processing.”

“Now, I’m in the position to work closely with the surgeons and other OR staff, sales representatives and the Sterile Processing Department, and I’m able to address issues that arise concerning instrumentation, surgeon preferences, departmental and budgetary requirements, and so on,” said John Rowe, CRCST, CIS, CHL. “Obtaining each certification has provided me with an opportunity to grow, learn and advance in Sterile Processing, and also be able to share the knowledge I’ve gained.”

Sterile Processing Manager Robert Parker, CRCST, CIS, CHL, has also seen his career trajectory soar through certification and continuing education. “There’s no doubt that the applied knowledge from the ‘Triple Crown’ of IAHCSMM certifications has contributed to my success in Sterile Processing. At Jewish Hospital, the Triple Crown certification initiative has impacted our culture and service. We have technicians in our department who think and perform like supervisors, and they inspire others to grow in their knowledge and skill sets.”

Jewish Hospital is also spreading its success to other KentuckyOne facilities on the Louisville downtown campus as University of Louisville Hospital’s Sterile Processing Team recently celebrated its third Triple Crown-certified technician this month.

Hank Balch is proud of his department’s culture of professionalism and commitment to knowledge advancement, and he envisions a world where “Triple Crown” certification is the norm in facilities across the country.