Surgical instruments go through many hands in their use cycle: from surgeon, to surgical tech, to OR assistant, to Sterile Processing. So who is responsible for preventing dried soils on surgical instruments? The answer is “all of the above”.
If every department says that it is someone else’s responsibility, no one ends up taking ownership for their part to play. It is not uncommon to see OR team members think of instrument cleaning as “Sterile Processing’s job” and justify skipping pre-cleaning because they have too much to do.
A good way to help establish a team approach to pre-cleaning is to involve Infection Prevention, SPD Manager, OR Manager, Supply Manager, and any other department nurse managers whose department uses and transports surgical instruments.
Work together as a team to establish a process that works for your facility, establishing responsibilities for each department and tools to audit the process.