Jun 20, 2023 | Sterile Processing

Using Quality Data for Education and Training

In today’s rapidly moving world, time is precious. And nowhere is time more precious than in the healthcare industry, especially in sterile processing departments (SPDs). Every process—from tray assembly to instrument sterilization—needs to be streamlined to avoid wasting time, putting patients at risk, or making costly mistakes. Optimizing processes starts with effective training.


However, without quality data, educators, training managers, and other learning professionals are left in the dark on how to improve and streamline training. Essentially, educators would be throwing a handful of darts at a dartboard hoping they’ll drive learning concepts home while improving department productivity and efficiency. High-quality data enables educators to focus their efforts, highlighting exactly where more training is needed and who needs it. By taking the guesswork out of training, organizaitons are able to more effectively close skills gaps, increase efficiency, improve patienty safety, and stay compliant with new industry requirements..


High-Quality Data Creates High-Quality SPD Training

Most SPDs are plagued by high turnover and higher defect rates, which can result in serious risks to patient safety, operating room delays, bottlenecked processes, and more. Resolving these problems starts with getting accurate actionable data that not only improves sterile processing outcomes but also increases training effectiveness. 


The dangers of using inaccurate data in training include:

Wasted time: Not all SPD employees will struggle with the same training concepts. For example, one may struggle with proper tray assembly while others may not understand proper labeling or decontamination techniques. Without data (even inaccurate data), SPD managers or training leaders could waste valuable time training all employees on the same concepts. 


Poor department performance: Keeping department performance high starts with ensuring employees are well-trained. However, inaccurate data may cover up department inefficiencies or bottlenecked processes which would prevent department leaders from making necessary adjustments to training.


Low efficiency: High-quality training increases efficiency and productivity in SPDs. If data is flat-out wrong, SPDs will not see those results. This may result in increased risk to patient safety and non-compliance with industry standards.


It’s crucial for SPDs to not only have accurate data, but the ability to drill further into data to identify exactly where to focus training efforts to maximize effieciency.


How to Use Data to Make Quality and Productivity Improvements in Your Department

The days of using Excel spreadsheets and manual data analysis to identity training and education opportunities are dwindling. Too often, errors or inaccuracies sneak into data that can significantly alter training paths and hide potential education gaps. By automating data analysis with tools like CensisAI², SPDs not only get real-time, accurate data, but also insightful reports that enable them to drill further into data. 


Stewart Pillow, Senior Program Coordinator, and Shamu Anthony, SPD Education Coordinator at VCU Health, discuss how they’ve improved education and training by improving data quality.


“We used to use Tableau to create charts,” Stewart said. “We had data analysts who maintained them, but errors still occurred and it took a lot of time.” He went on to describe how using CensiTrac and CensisAI² allowed them to reduce the amount of time to uncover insights and training opportunities. 


Shamu added that the platform “reduces the time to create a narrative” and provides the ability to drill down into trends. She gave the example of using quality data captured by CensiTrac and CensisAI² to uncover a spike in labeling trend errors. Rather than holding training for all techs, Shamu drilled further into the data where she identified it was only a single technician that was struggling with labeling procedures. She was able to provide the technician with the help they needed which reduced errors in half the time. In situations in which multiple technicians are struggling, Shamu is able to quickly generate a report that explains procedures or processes and distribute them as needed.


In addition to focusing training efforts, VCU Health has used data to forecast future training. Stewart and Shamu can see both past errors and errors committed in a single day. Drilling further into this data uncovers patterns and trends, enabling them to see what training will likely be needed in the future. 


Using high-quality data to re-educate technicians on proper SPD procedures has enabled VCU Health to increase productivity and efficiency, and remain compliant.


Focus Training Efforts With Censis

Data is the key to finessing your training strategy; however, creating education opportunities based off of irrelevant, inaccurate, or outdated data can create numerous vulnerabilities. Censis helps you avoid those pitfalls by capturing and presenting only high-quality data—data that’s error-free, up-to-date, and relevant. Uncovering training opportunities is done at the push of the button with the platform drilling deep into department data to highlight exactly where more learning is needed.


Regardless of what your end goal is, CensiTrac and CensisAI² help you get there by honing in on specific data and details. 


Ready to get started? Contact Us for a free demo.