FAQs: Central Sterilizing Services new facility to open spring 2020

A new off-site Central Sterilizing Services (CSS) facility will be opening next spring with a much larger space and the latest technology in medical sterilization. It will be on the Oakdale campus at 2441 Crosspark Road, Coralville (see map and construction web cam).

The CSS team cleans, inspects, packages, and sterilizes instruments for procedures and clinic use—nearly 10 million a year, or 740,000 medical instrument trays.

We’ve compiled a few frequently asked questions from staff:

When is the move happening?

A phased transition will occur beginning in March to offsite over three different dates:

  • March 13: Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC)
  • April 3: UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital Operating Room
  • May 22: Main Operating Room (MOR)
  • A fourth date is to be determined for clinics: likely in summer of 2020

Will turnaround time of instrument processing change?

No, we do not expect a substantial change in turnaround time for processing of instruments.

How often will trucks run between the new facility and the hospital?

They will run trucks constantly throughout the day, on a cycle of every 60 to 90 minutes as demand dictates. This will include transporting clean instrumentation to the facility throughout the day, as well as returning soiled.

Will my processes change in receiving or dropping off of medical instruments?

For a faculty or staff member who uses instruments processed by CSS, nothing should change. Pick-up and drop-off of instruments will be the same, unless there is a mutually agreed upon decision to change that location.

Are we still using ethylene oxide (EO) for sterilization?

Due to recent concerns over cancer-causing risk associated with ethylene oxide (EO), an ingredient used in sterilization practices across the country, UI Hospitals & Clinics will not use ethylene oxide sterilization in its new Central Sterilizing Facility. The use of EO has been mostly phased out already, but for any remaining instruments that require the use of EO sterilization, alternate instruments need to be identified and purchased before the CSS move date.

Questions? Contact Ben Hall, Perioperative Services director, at ben-hall@uiowa.edu or 319-356-7757.



  1. How many positions will be moved out to Oakdale and will there be a remaining CSS area with staff in the hospital?

    • There will be approximately 100 employees out at the new location, including about a dozen with Supply Chain, who will will implement an offsite/onsite rotation so that there is cross-coverage available regardless of location or need. There will be about 40 CSS staff remaining on-site, located at the children’s hospital Turncenter (staffed 24×7) and the Level 8 Flexible Endoscope Reprocessing Center (FERC). The other CSS staff will be at the new off-site location.

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