SteriPro Canada Inc.
The Canadian Business Journal first featured SteriPro in November, 2012. The business has evolved significantly since the acquisition of SteriPro by a Canadian owned health care company in December 2014. It currently services several major hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area, and is in negotiations with several facilities in other regions of Ontario, as well as other provinces.
SteriPro Canada is the industry leader in reprocessing of reusable medical devices. “Reprocessing” is an all-encompassing term used to define the critical function that is performed to decontaminate, wash, assemble, repackage and sterilize reusable medical devices used in operating rooms, interventional cardiology suites, clinics, medical and surgical wards, labour and delivery suites, endoscopy suites and medical imaging departments.
Reprocessing technicians perform the critical function of preparing medical devices for reuse by the next patient. They have to follow manufacturer’s instructions, which vary from device to device. This specialized field has evolved with more complex devices used in today’s surgical procedures, including instruments used in minimally invasive surgeries and robotic surgeries. This is further complicated by the emergence of superbugs that require stringent decontamination processes to be followed.
The Mississauga based company has a unique and innovative purpose-built offsite facility that meets and exceeds the highest standards, giving hospitals and healthcare providers an efficient, cost-effective solution for their reprocessing needs and allowing the hospitals to focus on and redirect savings to patient care. The facility was built with its own “ecosystem,” providing an environment with temperature controlled filtered air, reverse osmosis water for its washers and white steam for its sterilizers. This provides optimum conditions for the staff and the medical devices.
A unique business conception
Building and maintaining an in-house sterilization and reprocessing program is a significant drain on resources for hospitals that could be better spent on patient care. SteriPro eliminates that burden and provides a complete and adaptable solution that delivers clear benefits to hospitals, physicians, nurses and patients. Backed by years of expertise and highly trained team members, SteriPro is committed to providing this essential service built on a sustainable model. SteriPro’s cutting edge processes and facility are designed to save its clients time and money, while ensuring that the right instruments are in the hands of the people who need them, when they need them. This is achieved by providing state of the art instrument reprocessing and sterilization, quality assurance at or above industry standards, comprehensive tracking and traceability, and significant savings in operations.
The new Humber Regional Hospital in Toronto (the first completely digital hospital in North America), is opening with a fully outsourced reprocessing service. SteriPro is assisting Humber Regional Hospital in transitioning and standardizing its medical reusable devices from its existing two sites to the new site. The Humber Regional Hospital is a showcase of SteriPro’s full service model, wherein SteriPro is responsible for all onsite and offsite reprocessing functions. It enabled Humber River to avoid the major capital expenditure that would have been required to have a fully functional onsite reprocessing department. SteriPro also offers a dock to dock model wherein it is responsible for only those items that are to be reprocessed offsite.
SteriPro’s experienced team has designed a comprehensive tracking system and rigorous logistics support program to ensure devices are reprocessed and delivered on time while maintaining the highest quality standards in the industry.
SteriPro’s advanced, flexible approach accounts for every instrument at every step of the process, and its world-class quality assurance meets or exceeds all applicable standards. SteriPro’s service and support enables its clients to deliver the best in patient care.
SteriPro was acquired by CMC Health Care Group in December 2014. The change in ownership has resulted in new leadership. Dr. Arun Jain was named as the new CEO, Mr. Vikram Dhaddha as the new COO and Mr. Ajay Jain as the new CBDO.
“I trained as a surgeon at McGill University, and when I heard about this business model, I was startled. My first impression was that it would be impossible to take surgical instruments off site for reprocessing. After exploring the business further, I came to realise the numerous benefits of outsourcing and that it was indeed feasible to reprocess reusable medical devices offsite. SteriPro is the first and only reprocessing company that entered into the Canadian healthcare market and secured several hospital contracts in the GTA in 2012. That’s when the business really started taking off,” Dr. Jain tells the Canadian Business Journal.
SteriPro’s state-of-the-art 20,000 square-foot facility meets and exceeds the standards of Canadian Standards Association (CSA) which publishes recommended standards for Medical Devices Reprocessing Departments (MDRDs).
“Our mandate going forward is to advance the field of reprocessing through collaboration with industry experts, sharing of knowledge, research and education and to offer a comfortable workplace environment for staff with clean air, appropriate lighting and state of the art equipment enabling our staff to deliver the best quality service and products to our clients,” says Dr. Jain.
A complete solution
Entry into Canada wasn’t easy for the former owners. Outsourcing reprocessing services was a completely new concept. Many hospitals continue to be plagued by aging equipment and infrastructure that needs significant capital investment to continue to meet CSA standards; however, these hospitals do not have the budget.
“SteriPro provided a solution by providing capital cost avoidance while providing additional operating budget savings as well,” Dr. Jain reveals. “But the idea of letting go of your tools of the trade was hard to digest. By the time we acquired the business the concept was beginning to be accepted as an alternative to in-house MDRDs,” Dr. Jain adds.
SteriPro offers hospitals a complete reprocessing solution for their medical equipment and devices, which includes collection, transportation decontamination, assembly, packaging, sterilization and delivery back to the hospital on time. The worry-free system is transparent, with hospitals always aware of the status of their equipment through an online portal allowing them access to SteriPro’s proprietary tracking system. In addition to reprocessing, SteriPro performs a complete functional review of the instruments to ensure that it is safe and free of defects. Any defective instruments are repaired or replaced during the assembly phase to ensure patient care is not compromised.
“The quality of the instrument is much better when it is put through our reprocessing cycle. We see this when we first begin working with a new hospital. Once the medical devices are reprocessed a few times, the many years’ worth of residue buildup starts coming off. The surgeons often ask the nurse, ‘Did we buy new instruments?’ Through our reprocessing, the instrument starts to look new again. That is a testament to our quality of work,” Vikram Dhadha, COO, remarks.
SteriPro is promoting their new corporate values of cost efficiency, premium product and service delivery and customer satisfaction. SteriPro, under new leadership, has rebranded its image with a new logo that highlights its cutting edge technology and service.
In May, the ISO-9001 certified company achieved the status of “Accredited” from Accreditation Canada’s Distinction Program for Medical Device Reprocessing and Sterilization, becoming the first private facility in Canada to do so. Hospitals are required to undergo an accreditation survey by Accreditation Canada every four years. Outsourcing of their reprocessing services allows a hospital to focus on achieving Accreditation Canada’s requirements in other areas of the facility.
Education and continuing skills development is vital to any organization to be an authority in their field. The company currently offers an educational program for their technicians. With its own pool of talented individuals and through collaborations with other industry leaders, SteriPro is developing educational workshops for various aspects of reprocessing and will open them up to technicians and management personnel from other hospitals and facilities. SteriPro is also working on several research projects to provide meaningful data to enable hospitals and ministry officials to evaluate and make informed decisions about MDRD departments in hospitals.
Ajay Jain, CBDO, states that “education and sharing of information will increase awareness about the importance of sterilization, resulting in better care and improved patient outcomes.”
“We have reached out to healthcare experts in the industry and formed a Medical Advisory Committee chaired by Dr. Carmine Simone, Chief of Surgery at Toronto East General Hospital. The committee will provide advice to the Board of Directors on current issues affecting the reprocessing field. We have gathered a lot of data over the years, and our aim is to derive conclusions from the analysis of the data that we can share with others and will publish in scientific journals,” Dr. Jain tells us.
SteriPro has also been working at increasing awareness about its company by forging new relationships within the industry, engaging the services of respected individuals in healthcare, and speaking with hospitals across the country. SteriPro has been able to demonstrate to Hospitals that it can help them save money while improving quality. This is a winning formula for hospitals that are being forced to find new ways to reduce their annual budget.
Helping hospitals to focus on what they do best
Standards for reprocessing are continuously changing and becoming more stringent as new infections appear, and it can be difficult for hospitals to keep up.
“By outsourcing their sterilization or reprocessing processes, now the hospitals can focus on what they do best, which is patient care. SteriPro is able to meet or exceed current industry standards for reprocessing. In the nine months that we’ve owned SteriPro, we have come to appreciate the great demand that exists for reprocessing and that outsourcing is the obvious solution in this environment of limited capital funding,” says Dr. Jain.
SteriPro offers a solution that avoids capital expenditures for hospitals, reduces operating costs, improves the standard of care, and most importantly, keeps patients safe.