A look at the CSSD of the future

Modernizing CSSD Infrastructure for Infection Control Excellence

CSSD of the future

The overall awareness and understanding on infection control department & practices have evolved dramatically over last 10 years in India. CSSD has never been considered as one of the direct revenue earners for the hospital, it gets neglected during the early planning stages of the project. Unlike operation theater complex or radiological set-up in India, CSSD usually ends up getting placed either on terrace or one of the corners in basement.
However, thanks to the accreditations such as NABH, JCI, etc. for defining critical guidelines in CSSD planning, designing and good practices which has reflected strong traction in new upcoming hospital projects.
CSSD plays the most crucial role indirectly in ensuring that the direct earning components function smoothly.

To be part of the new era, there are few key points to consider before you start planning CSSD ;

Planning, Design & Flow of the CSSD
Designing CSSD with appropriate flow of material and staff is very crucial from hygiene and cross contamination perspective. The three-zone concept need to be implemented in the design of the CSSD infrastructure with appropriate equipment, furniture and accessories as necessary. The flow of material is critical throughout the cycle and every zone has specific infrastructure and design requirements.

Infrastructure & Material
Infrastructure in CSSD is important and need to be planned in an appropriate manner following hygiene and infection control standards. It is important to understand the scope of work practiced in respective zones in terms of decontamination, packaging and sterile areas.

Usually, CSSD infrastructure is constructed in civil works with brick walls, painting and tiling on the floor. The new concept of Modular Infrastructure in CSSD can be highly beneficial in terms of better space utilization, faster infrastructure built up and quicker future modification or expansion. In many cases, it has been noticed that the CSSD initially is planned with limited load estimation but as the hospital practices reach a peak, they sense a need for facilities expansion or modification within the hospital. With civil infrastructure, such modification activities will call for a shutdown of facilities and longer execution time for construction which can lead to heavy loss of revenues. Also, such modification work can cause major damage to overall building structure. Adopting modular infrastructure solutions in such cases can be an appropriate solution. There are wall solutions available in terms of stainless-steel, high-pressure laminates (HPL) or solid mineral surface (Corian) which if applied in a technically apt manner can be built in short period and sustain for long years.

The stainless steel or HPL wall elements offer benefits in terms of

  • Complete wall sealing
  • Smooth, powder-coated surfaces for easy cleaning
  • Effective sound insulation to meet building requirements
  • Cladding of infection control machines with stainless steel panels​

With such wall panel solutions, the necessary services in terms of mechanical, electrical and plumbing can be planned in an appropriate manner. Also, future requirements such as networking and IT services also can be added without disturbing the on-going services. Such wall panels are compliant in terms of sound, fire and hygiene. They carry high resistance to surface impacts unless manually damaged.

It has been noted in majority that the material used for ceiling system in CSSD is not compliant with infection control standards and leads to higher maintenance challenges in future. With modular removable pre-coated metal ceiling mechanism provides better accessibility, easy to clean and maintenance benefits. With modular ceiling option, two major facilities in CSSD can be managed in a much better manner unlike now i.e. lighting and air-conditioning. It is important for people working in CSSD to have comfortable environment with proper bright lighting and air-conditioning. With long hours of working and handling critical instruments and material, lighting should be appropriate with sufficient lux factor and IP standards of 54/65 making is duct and waterproof.
Air-conditioning has also been a major subject of concern in CSSD from engineering and maintenance perspective. Ideally the flow of air across the three zones in CSSD should be opposite to the flow of material. It is important that the air supply in the respective zones is maintained with necessary temperature and pressure gradient. Appropriate air-circulation mechanism through air handling units will ensure clean air and no contamination. With modular metal ceiling, the diffusors in the respective zones can be placed in a manner to achieve uniform distribution and avoid air leakages.

The equipment in CSSD initially is planned with limited load estimation. There have been many instances in the hospital where there is a need to expand the equipment processing capacities or expansion of areas in order to regularize the load. In such cases, having modular infrastructure can be highly beneficial as it can be modified to accommodate additional equipment without disturbing on-going activities. A durable modular wall system will allow CSSD to grow and adapt as per needs change. it’s important to have a flexible solution with lasting durability for wall system.

Studies show that the working environment can have a positive impact on mood and efficiency.
The customized colors and modular designs can provide an affordable, attractive, and hygienic option for the sterile reprocessing area. These wall panels offer streamlined installation and long-term durability to improve ROI.
Appealing colors, motifs, and design elements can create a pleasant environment that alleviates staff stress, particularly in rooms without windows or natural light. Individually printable elements for walls, ceilings, and doors can be customized and combined to create a unique environment or mark different functional areas.

Maintenance & Service
With civil infrastructure cleaning and maintenance in highly occupied CSSD areas functioning 24 x 7 is a major concern.
With such modular infrastructure:

  •  it provides comfortable access for servicing and maintenance of components to the engineering department.
  • all services function smoothly for longer duration thereby reducing recurring heavy repairs and maintenance costing.

Getinge as one of the leaders in the infection control segment could be your partner in this transition towards stepping into the futuristic CSSD concept. In addition to the technological equipment solutions, Getinge also offers comprehensive CSSD infrastructure solutions as turnkey. 

Akshay Karoor
Product Manager, Getinge Medical India Pvt.