Introduction to Central Supply Department
Q: What does the Central Supply Department ("CSD") do?
A: No matter how wonderful doctors and nurses may be at their jobs, they must have supplies of appropriate things if they are to preserve patients' health and save lives. CSD is a place where these things are prepared, cleaned, disinfected and sterilized. It ensures that patients can rest at ease in the knowledge that the medical materials used in their treatment are of the proper quality.
Q: How long has CSD been in existence? What were its origins?
A: The Central Supply Room of the old Municipal Hospital (the forerunner of the present Central Supply Department) opened along with the old North Ward, in May 1956. In the beginning, its staff worked in tandem with those of the Operating Rooms. Following its defeat in WWII, Japan was at that time heavily under the influence of American culture, an influence that extended to the sphere of medicine. Under it, most new hospitals built in the period 1955 - 1966 were provided with Central Supply Rooms. Prior to that time, syringes, needles and other implements were disinfected with Schimmelbusch boil-sterilizer installed in each of the various wards and departments. Further, the troublesome work of grouping the implements and folding gauze and supplies needed for treatment was part of the nurses' duties, and hindered their efficiency. With the extensions to the East Ward in 1968, another Central Supply Room was opened on the 2nd basement floor of that ward, in addition to the one on the 6th floor of the North Ward. It was around this time that the Japanese economy entered the rapid growth phase, which ushered in the widespread use of disposable products, and brought advances in sterilization techniques. In line with these trends, the University Hospital introduced heavy-duty auto-clave and ethylene oxide (EOG) low-temperature sterilization equipment. This equipment allowed more centralized sterilization operations, giving CSD the additional role of acting as a contagion control center.
With the opening of the New Hospital in May 1993, the Central Supply Room became the Central Supply Department, acquiring full Central Department status in the hospital's organization.
Our Supply Department operates the only fully sterilized conveyance system in Japan and the adoption of an ordering system has brought big improvements in the efficiency of processing requests for supplies and dispensing them from storage.
Q: What are the roles that CSD plays?
A: (1) It provides a safe and efficient supply of instruments and materials for examinations, treatment and nursing. And after use, it retrieves, cleans, assembles, packages, sterilizes and stores them.
(2) Through the sterilization of instruments and materials, it makes a major contribution to the prevention of contagion within the hospital.
(3) It contributes to the smooth running of the hospital's activities by minimizing wasteful use of medical supplies, and conducting rational storage management.
Q: What is the difference between disinfection and sterilization?
A: Disinfection: Defined as something which kills the ability of pathogens to infect, a process intermediate between cleaning and sterilization. It is effected by means of chemicals in liquid form.
Sterilization: A process that aims to remove or kill all of the microorganisms present on the surfaces of instruments/materials.