Using simulation to design a central sterilization department

AORN J. 2008 Oct;88(4):555-67. doi: 10.1016/j.aorn.2008.03.015.


A simulation project was performed to assist with redesign of the surgery department of a large tertiary hospital and to help administrators make the best decisions about relocating, staffing, and equipping the central sterilization department. A simulation model was created to analyze department configurations, staff schedules, equipment capacities, and cart-washing requirements. Performance measures examined include tray turnaround time, surgery-delay rate, and work-in-process levels. The analysis provides significant insight into how the proposed system will perform, allowing planning for expected patient volume increases. This work illustrates how simulation can facilitate the design of a central sterilization department and improve surgical sterilization operations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Benchmarking / organization & administration
  • Central Supply, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Clinical Nursing Research
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Efficiency, Organizational
  • Ergonomics
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Hospital Design and Construction / methods
  • Humans
  • Indiana
  • Interior Design and Furnishings / methods*
  • Needs Assessment
  • Operating Room Nursing / organization & administration
  • Operating Rooms / organization & administration*
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling / organization & administration
  • Sterilization / organization & administration*
  • Time and Motion Studies
  • Total Quality Management / organization & administration