Inventory Management in the Central Service Department

Inventory Management in the Central Service Department 

Efforts to cut costs by healthcare organizations continues to rise in priority as profit margins continue to shrink. The supply chain accounts for up to 30% of a hospital’s budget and studies show that an estimated $5 billion per year is wasted on high-cost medical devices (Mathew, John, & Kumar, 2013) (Becker's Hospital CFO Report, 2016). An efficiently managed supply chain can reduce total operating costs by up to 8% (Parsa, Jin, Roni, Eksioglu, & Eksioglu, 2011).

Since many supplies are processed through the central sterile supply department (CSSD), this area plays an important role in streamlining, tracking, and optimizing a large percentage of a hospital’s inventory. This requires balancing cost-cutting efforts with ensuring the right items are available at the right time and place for patient care.

The content of this course is applicable to CSSD personnel. It is designed to educate these professionals on the importance of inventory management and strategies for optimizing and streamlining processes to eliminate waste and ensure needed supplies are available when and where they are needed.


Hours: 1.00


Certificates provided by accrediting body (1 Match)

Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution, Inc.


This in-service has been Approved by the CBSPD, Inc. for 1.00 CEUs.

Course Details

Course Code: REL-ACU-0-IMCSD
Hours: 1
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 9/30/2022
Learning Objectives:
Define terms related to inventory management in the central sterile supply department.
Describe strategies for improving inventory efficiency in healthcare facilities.
Discuss strategies for managing sterile inventory during storage and transport.
Describe methods for managing inventory location, rotation, distribution, replenishment, and tracking.

Section 1: Introduction

About This Course

Learning Objectives

Section 2: Inventory Management and Efficiency

Inventory in the CSSD

Hospital Supply Chain

Quality and Cost of Inventory to Deliver a Product or Service

Effort, Expense, and Waste

Reducing Waste

Group Purchasing Organizations




Section 3: Handling and Storing Sterilized Inventory

Pre-sterilized Item Package Information

Sterile Inventory Loss

Event-Related Sterility

Receiving and Inspection of Commercially Sterilized Inventory

Entering and Retrieving Sterile Inventory to and from Storage

Storing Inventory Sterilized In-House

Sterile Storage Environment

Shelving in Sterile Storage Areas

Managing Sterile Inventory in the OR

Transporting Sterile Inventory



Section 4: Inventory Location, Rotation, Distribution, Replenishing, and Tracking

Inventory Location and Rotation

Inventory Distribution

Inventory Replenishment

Inventory Tracking



Section 5: Conclusion


Course Contributors



Instructor: Rebecca Smallwood, MBA, RN
Rebecca Smallwood, MBA, RN, has extensive experience across a wide spectrum of healthcare settings including: rural and urban acute care hospitals, public health, ambulatory surgery, higher education, and commercial healthcare learning organizations. Her roles have included: medical/surgical, ED, and OR staff and charge nurse; Director of School Health Services/school nurse; Public Health Epidemiology and Bioterrorism Preparedness Specialist; Infection control practitioner; Quality Management Specialist; Organizational Development Specialist; and Educator. Prior to joining Relias as a SME writer, she provided healthcare learning and development consultation to Swank Healthcare and was the Director of Education Services for, a division of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Rebecca earned a diploma in nursing from Methodist Hospital School of Nursing in Lubbock, Texas and an MBA from Wayland Baptist University.  Disclosure: Rebecca Smallwood, MBA, RN has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Expert Reviewer: Sherry Hughes CRCST, CHL, CIS

Sherry Hughes CRCST, CHL, CIS. Sherry has 36 years of experience in healthcare, 35 of which have been at Wilson Health in the sterile processing department. Since 2011, she has been a team lead and supervisor. She has a love and passion for the challenging, rewarding, and always changing field of sterile processing. During her tenure in the field, she has developed an effective SP tech training and orientation program and has organized and implemented a sterile processing networking forum for SP professionals from area hospitals to gather and participate in educational presentations and round table discussions. Sherry serves on several hospital committees, including employee health and infection control, the department of surgical services, and quality assurance and performance improvement. She has earned several certifications from the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materials Management, including CRCST (Certified Registered Central Service Technician), CHL (Certification in Healthcare Leadership), and CIS (Certified Instrument Specialist). She is very self-driven and finds great satisfaction using her knowledge, skills, and due diligence as a part of every surgical procedure performed in her local hospital to keep patients safe and facilitate the best possible outcomes.

Disclosure: Sherry Hughes CRCST, CHL, CIS has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: Central Sterile Personnel; in the following settings: Acute Care Facility.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
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All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
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