Penn Medicine on Monday officially opened what it is describing as the largest instrument processing and surgical supply preparation facility in the country.
Workers at the $80 million, 110,000-square-foot Interventional Support Center in Southwest Philadelphia will sterilize and package thousands of instruments each day for use in surgeries and procedures. The instruments to be sterilized and packaged range from basic scissors and clamps to advanced robotic devices.
The center at 3250 S. 76th St. was created to combine instrument processing services at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Hospital along with three outpatient facilities: the Perelman Center, Penn Medicine Radnor, and the Tuttleman Center. Penn Medicine’s new $1.5 billion Pavilion, opening later this year, will also be served by the Interventional Support Center when it opens this fall.
The facility — which the health system said is also the first of its kind in Pennsylvania — opened with 140 employees who came over from on-site instrument processing facilities. In addition, 25 new employees were hired for the facility.
Chris Pastore, the facilities managing director, said the opening of the center marks a new approach for Penn Medicine.
“By moving our processing operations from the traditional hospital setting to an offsite, dedicated facility, we’re able to increase efficiency in a cost-effective way — all while keeping up with increasing demand,” Pastore said. “Plus, the [center] alleviates space at our clinical locations, providing the breathing room hospital departments need to expand services.”
As an example, he said, the opening of the Interventional Support Center will enable the health system to dedicate more space to patients at the 500-patient-room Pavilion.
The facility includes features that enhance sterilization efficiency, such as the use of clean steam using reverse osmosis water and airlocks throughout the building to prevent the cross-contamination of air between areas where dirty instruments are processed and clean ones are repackaged.
The $80 million cost for the center represents land acquisitions cost, infrastructure, and the facility itself. Penn officials said the site also has additional space that may be used for future projects.
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