Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center opens $45 million facility to sanitize surgical equipment
Ohio State University is moving a crucial yet lesser-known part of its hospital operation into its own facility.
Last month, the Wexner Medical Center opened the first freestanding facility in Ohio dedicated to cleaning surgical equipment.
The 62,000-square-foot building on Kenny Road has the capacity to support care for more than 48,000 surgical patients per year, according to the medical center.
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The new facility will act as a hub for Ohio State's hospitals and surgical centers, eliminating the need to have cleaning equipment at each location. It will also improve workflow in helping to make sure sanitized equipment never crosses paths with unclean tools, said Kim Jones, director of central sterile supply.
"In most cases, the sterilization process lives in the basement of a hospital," Jones said. "From a staff member perspective, it's just such an enhancement … it's pretty remarkable."
Jones said she and her colleagues took a look at several similar operations around the country before deciding how to set up Ohio State's new $45.3 million sanitation hub. The Central Sterile Supply facility has airlocks and is temperature and humidity controlled to prevent the spread of germs, according to the medical center.
"Everything was built with our patients' safety in mind," Jones said.
The services launched with Ohio State East Hospital and will expand to other facilities in the coming months. The new operation will eventually support the entire inpatient and outpatient network, including Ohio State's new inpatient hospital opening in 2026, according to the medical center.
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Although it's not in the plans yet, Jones said the university could in the future consider allowing other Ohio hospitals to hire the service to sanitize their surgical equipment.
“By creating an efficient and continuous supply of sterilized material, we can continue to lead the way in providing the best and highest quality care to the patients we serve,” Dr. Hal Paz, chief executive officer at Wexner Medical Center, said in a news release.