As outline in the book “The Ideal Sterile Processing Department“, change is what distinguishes leaders from managers. This is to say that while leaders take institutions to new heights, managers sustain attained heights of institutions. In other words, where the leader’s work ends in an institution, the manager’s work begins and both rarely exist in one person.

For a sterile processing department to thrive therefore, decision makers must first understand what their sterile processing department needs. If change is needed, a leader is required. If change is not needed, then a manager is required. If a sterile processing department is having issues, then what we need is not a sterile processing manager but a sterile processing leader. This explains why many medical centers have a high sterile processing management turnover rate.

That said; there are times when operating room staff and sterile processing technicians don’t seem to understand that something is wrong with their system. Often because they don’t that they don’t know enough to improve their system. Hence, they perceive their limitations as the normal order of doing business. Sterile instrument systems can help.