FSS # V797P-4462B | Medassets Contract # MS02526 | Premier Contract # PP-OR-1380

CPT Medical

The Life Cycle of Custom Trays


The four main steps in the life cycle of custom surgical trays are:

  • Decontamination
  • Packaging
  • Storage
  • Monitoring

The Decontamination Process

The instruments and the trays which carry the instruments must all be decontaminated properly before custom trays can be sent out to clients. This is done with a solution of water that has either been mixed with specialized cleaning solutions or some family of detergent before cleaning commences. Such solutions keep foreign materials from lingering on the equipment before it’s placed into a machine that mechanically washes and dries equipment. After this, items are inspected at the visual and microscopic level to ensure cleanliness before they’re shifted to packaging. Packaging also plays a small role in the decontamination process, as if it is not done correctly, custom trays will definitely be contaminated during transit or storage. Packaging of custom trays must be designed to ensure decontamination is a single step, and not a problem which continues to crop up.


Packaging must cover the entire tray and be done in a sterilized environment where foreign disease-ridden agents don’t have the ability to penetrate. Proper packaging is intensive and will stand the test of time, because some trays are used immediately, others are maintained on site as backup measures in the event a shipment delay or there’s some emergency which increases their demand.


Trays after being properly packaged, it is mandatory that trays be correctly stored. They should be away from the ceiling, away from the floor, and away from the walls. Custom trays should be allowed air circulation. It should be easy to monitor and clean the custom trays adequate. Avoid storing custom trays in wet areas that have a higher instance of contamination.


Continually monitor the status of your trays as they are stored. Additionally, methods of sterilization must be monitored to ensure that they are indeed effective. A number of methods are contemporarily used in order to facilitate this. There are mechanical monitors that keep tabs on temperature and pressure charges, and there are also chemical indicators which have been designed with heat sensitivity or chemical presence. Oftentimes these monitors are placed on exterior packaging. Additionally there are biological indicators which can be used to tell whether or not the sterilization process has been lethal to spores or other infections materials.

Having A Trustworthy Option

Decontamination involves packaging, storage, and monitoring. Because of the microscopic nature behind pathogens which may infect and complicate a surgery, there are often areas where previously-successful measures may prove non-effective. In such scenarios, regular monitoring and proper storage can catch a failure of traditional sterilization procedures. A good way to think of it is like this: sterilization isn’t a destination, it’s a journey. Just like your custom trays will travel from the place where they are packaged to where they will eventually be used. Initial sterilization will have a number of stages between first measures utilized and final operation. To ensure you get the most out of your custom trays, check the steps of the agency you use and be sure of their process.