Dec 27, 2022 | Sterile Processing

The Problem With Paper: How to Reduce Waste and Improve Data Management

Regardless of regulatory institution or region defining record retention policies and practices, all surgical facilities are required to maintain reprocessing records. While AAMI, AORN, and SGNA standards and government policies drive the majority of common practices, there are many policies and practices that require documentation.

This ultimately results in a lot of waste – not just in terms of paper, but energy as well. For healthcare institutions interested in going green and reducing waste, it’s time to move away from paper processes and embrace digital ones.

“When we think about going green, we need a multifaceted approach,” Jacob Long, Director of Sales Engineering at Censis, said. “The sake of going green is to reduce the impact on the environment and reduce waste, but it also has to be cost-effective and beneficial for ourselves in order to be practical.”

Healthcare institutions can move beyond wasteful paper processes and adopt an environmentally friendly approach to record retention (and patient safety) with Censis solutions.


The Top Challenges with Paper Record Retention and Access

One of the biggest challenges surrounding paper record retention resides in organizations lacking a complete understanding of what records they are required to maintain (and for how long). This ultimately results in an enormous amount of physical, cloud, and space waste.

“All those logs! Binders on binders, boxes on boxes – that’s a lot of paper,” Jacob pointed out. Not to mention the enormous amount of ink and toner cartridges required to print documentation.

“There’s also a lot of energy waste,” Jacob said. “Energy waste goes beyond just the electric bill…it includes things like walking to and from [the printer], keeping the lights on, and the power needed to print.” He went on to describe how on-premise servers are notoriously energy inefficient.

Jacob also discussed expensive retention fees. “If we’re utilizing a paper storage facility, you’re going to have retention fees that you pay those facilities to store documents for you. It’s also a challenge to get what we need when we need it.”

Each of these factors result in an enormous amount of environmental waste as well as increased costs and process inefficiencies.


Reduce Waste and Go Green With Censis

Every year, American healthcare institutions waste more than five million tons of paper. Some of this waste can be contributed to sterile processing departments (SPDs).

SPDs can reduce waste with robust digital tools like CensiTrac. First, Jacob recommends determining which documentation you need to maintain and track logs for. With a more inclusive list, SPDs can avoid wasting paper on creating unnecessary logs. Additionally, Censis’ entire ecosystem within CensiTrac, LoanerLink, and ScopeTrac Advanced work together seamlessly to drive efficiency across an entire department.

Then users can use CensiTrac’s Location Tracking to effectively track instruments and reduce paper logs. “Teams can easily use location scanning to create a record of an event,” Jacob said.

CensiTrac also uses Quality Feedback to digitally create and store quality events that are easily accessible across teams. CensiTrac’s efficiency task list enables users to create and report on any tasks.

Some additional ways SPDs can go green with Censis include:

  • Built-in compliance codes including AAMI and FDA
  • Professional partnership with OneSource for seamless IFU integration
  • Robust digital reporting features that can be shared across the enterprise
  • Ability to attach various media types to IFUs which minimizes paper waste

“SPD’s have to document a lot,” Jacob said. “By using Censis and scaling our solutions to capture as much as possible in one single source of truth in the cloud, you can greatly reduce your footprint.”

Learn more about how Censis helps you reduce waste, decrease your environmental impact, and boost efficiency by contacting a representative today.