New state-of-the-art system promotes patient safety


With more than 100,000 medical instruments to clean, disinfect, package and sterilize, the Sterile Processing Department (SPD) at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is kept very busy.

That job just got easier thanks to Censitrac, a new digital software system implemented on October 21, 2008. The Censitrac system has the ability to track medical instruments at the individual level – a rare practice in Canadian hospitals.

“The Censitrac software is incredible,” says Bill McInerney, SPD coordinator at LHSC’s Victoria Hospital. “It has everything we’re looking for. We can track our inventory more accurately while being more fiscally responsible.”

The management system will track instrument trays and validate sterilization procedures as instruments move through the cycle of being used and then cleaned, decontaminated, assembled and sterilized for re-use. The new system will promote patient safety through better management of medical instruments. The software is now in use at LHSC and plans are underway to implement it at St. Joseph’s Health Care, London.

Three days after the launch of Censitrac, LHSC staff and physicians received a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the department when both LHSC’s University Hospital (UH) and Victoria Hospital sites hosted an open house to showcase the new software. “I never realized how many types of different instruments there are for staff to track. This was definitely an enlightening tour,” says Marie Stevens, a job evaluation specialist in Human Resources.

Barb Gosleigh, coordinator of the SPD at University Hospital, says she heard many similar comments throughout the day’s tours. “For people taking the tours, it really opened up their eyes to what we do here. Many were surprised at the level of expertise needed to work here, and how important it is to the hospital.”

Staff in the SPD say they are excited about the Censitrac software and how it will help them do their jobs more effectively. “I’m proud to work here. It’s amazing to know that every day there are new innovations, and to know the difference SPD staff make in people’s lives,” says Catherine Linwood, team leader at the UH SPD.