New department ensures continued safe surgical care at RIH

The Medical Device Reprocessing area is responsible for the cleaning and sterilization of medical equipment and surgical tools

Interior Health

A new and improved Medical Device Reprocessing department at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops was unveiled Friday as part of a $10.75 million overhaul to the unit, which included a major renovation and new state-of-the-art equipment.

“The redevelopment of the Medical Device Reprocessing unit at Royal Inland, along with the introduction of new, cutting edge equipment, will help ensure uninterrupted quality care for Kamloops-area patients for years to come,” said Kamloops North Thompson MLA Terry Lake.

The Medical Device Reprocessing area is responsible for the cleaning and sterilization of medical equipment and surgical tools.

In 2010 Interior Health enlisted an external consultant to conduct a thorough review of the RIH Medical Device Reprocessing unit. This was in response to issues raised that year regarding equipment cleaning and sterilization. The resulting report made several recommendations, the most significant being unit redesign and renovation and the purchase of new equipment.

This major project was approached in phases to allow surgical procedures to continue uninterrupted at the hospital. The first phase, which consisted of the redesign and expansion of the MDR unit and installation of new sterilization equipment, is now complete.

With the new area complete, a new dedicated elevator is being installed to support delivery of surgical tools between operating rooms and the MDR unit, and renovations to the supply room and implementation of a new case cart delivery system will now occur. This second phase will be complete by early 2013.

More than 11,000 items surgical tools and pieces of medical equipment are cleaned, sterilized, packaged and delivered by the Medical Device Reprocessing department each month.  The department supports RIH as well as the health centers in Merritt and Chase.

The Thompson Regional Hospital District funded 40 per cent of the $10.75-million total project cost, with the remaining capital expense coming from the province.

“We are very pleased to be celebrating the completion of this redevelopment, especially as it supports not only RIH but the whole region. RIH is an important referral centre, and of course there are neighboring community hospitals which rely on the sterilization and cleaning services of this department as well,” said Thompson Regional Hospital chair Peter Milobar.


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