Nov 18, 2022 | Sterile Processing

Bust Four Myths About Your Data With Senior Business Analysts

Data is the lifeblood of healthcare organizations. Designed to help facilities make the most of their sterile processing department (SPD) data, CensiTrac captures every aspect of the sterilization and tracking process. With this data, teams can simplify asset management, increase productivity, improve patient outcomes, and ensure full traceability.

However, many SPDs are not fully leveraging the insights captured by CensiTrac and operate around numerous myths about data. To help hospitals and healthcare organizations move beyond these myths, two Censis Senior Business Analysts, Madeline Fiveash and Emily Spak, debunk a few of the most common, allowing SPDs to take full advantage of their valuable data.


Myth #1: I Have to Upload Data Manually


Most SPDs generate an enormous amount of data every day. However, for many, utilizing this data requires time-consuming, manual upload processes that take time away from interacting with patients. Many users don’t have the time to manually add competencies or update product descriptions due to heavy workloads or large datasets.

Censis eliminates manual data uploads via robust data tools and an experienced data team. SPDs who want to upload their data into CensiTrac can send the request into our Customer Success or Customer Advancement teams. Data can be submitted in a number of formats, from perfect Excel spreadsheets to photocopied stacks of paper. Once data is submitted, our team of experts will carefully review the information to have any questions regarding the format or submitted request answered.

Emily gave this example: “Teams can submit data requests for containers (our most common request) to have count sheets uploaded, sterilization methods updated, or discarding containers with no actuals.” She went on to describe that CensiTrac can also handle data requests like instruments, products, locations, scopes, HLD items, and more.

Regardless of how large or unorganized the data is, the Censis team is committed to working with facilities to make the most of their data — without engaging in manual upload processes.


Myth #2: My Data Won’t Be Reviewed by Experts Prior to Upload


Because SPD data comes in a variety of formats, many teams are concerned their data won’t be cleaned up prior to upload. The Censis team carefully and thoroughly reviews data on both a human and software level before anything is uploaded into CensiTrac.

“The Censis Data Team reviews and validates all data prior to any upload,” Emily said. “ We ensure container names and product data such as description, catalog, and vendor, match what is currently in the database using a V lookup formula.” Before any upload is completed, the team uses a T formula which ensures the provided data is uploaded to the correct container or product. From here, the Censis team may reference our global catalog, OneSource, and manufacturer catalogs if there is a concern regarding the correct catalog number format and/or supplier of an instrument.

For example, we can ensure container names are validated prior to upload of Uses Before Services. The Pulled Container General Information will compare names and may identify that a user had updated names within CensiTrac incorrectly which now returns “#N/A”, or “no match”. Should this happen, no upload will occur. This will ensure that all data is clean, accurate, and up-to-date prior to being uploaded into your system.


Myth #3: A Few Errors in a Product Catalog Doesn’t Affect My Data


“Dirty data” (data that contains errors or isn’t complete) is inevitable in healthcare settings and occurs for both intentional and unintentional reasons. For example, employees may be unfamiliar with location tracking and resort to previous tracking methods or product catalog numbers which may contain a few zeroes where there should be ‘O’s instead. While many SPD teams may feel these minor product catalog errors are minor, they can actually cause major problems.

It’s common for humans to make mistakes — words get misspelled, dashes get swapped for slashes, fives get mistaken for ‘S’s, etc. Additionally, surgical instrument vendors make adjustments and vendors may make acquisitions that change the way data is formatted. All these errors contribute to duplicate data which decreases the efficiency of SPD teams.

The example below illustrates how duplicate data occurs simply by abbreviating one supplier and removing the hyphen from one catalog number.

Smith & Nephew 7163-1026 4.0mm Trocar Drill Sleeve
Smith & Neph 71631026 4mm Trocar Drill Sleeve


The Censis team performs a visual check of data before using our arsenal of data tools to check for duplicate, inaccurate, or missing data. By eliminating these errors, teams are assured that data is entirely clean and accurate which boosts efficiency, productivity, and patient safety.


Myth #4: My Information Is Already Uploaded. It’s Too Late for My Data


Clients who have already uploaded “dirty data” into CensiTrac may feel that it’s too late to clean or scrub it. When this occurs, one of two things happens: either clients attempt to set best practices moving forward to reduce future dirty data or reach out to Censis for help. However, there are some that feel it’s too late.

“With Censis, data cleanups can be performed at virtually any time by our expert data team. And with multiple data cleanup services offered, SPD teams can eliminate dirty data with ease,” Madeline said. She describes how our data team performs data optimization which addresses duplicated catalog numbers or a container name clean-up which addresses duplicated container names.

These are just two of the data cleanup services we offer. “At Censis, we frequently assess data projects or needs and develop unique solutions,” said Madeline. We also take everything into consideration, including finite issues like typos or missed special characters and systematic errors like adding locations to catalog number fields. These precautions enable us to eliminate data inaccuracies and provide teams with clean, accurate data.


Overcome Data Myths With Censis


By moving beyond common data myths, SPD teams improve the quality and accuracy of their instrument tracking system data. If you’re looking at your data and feeling overwhelmed, Censis can help. With high-quality data in CensiTrac, SPD teams can have the insights needed to not only increase productivity and efficiency, but also improve patient outcomes and overall safety.


To learn more about how to improve SPD data with CensiTrac, contact us for a free demo.