We’ve all been paying closer attention to the processing of reusable medical devices, with the rise of COVID-19 and the Flu Season upon us. Whether you’re an independent practice or an office affiliated with a larger healthcare system, sterilization and sterility assurance in healthcare facilities should be monitored using biological, mechanical, and chemical indicators.
Keeping track of your sterilization procedures protects your practice — and your patients. It’s mandatory for your inspections and has to be conducted at least weekly here in the US for your sterility assurance and risk management program.
A table-top sterilizer is defined in AAMI ST79’s “Comprehensive Guide To Sterility Assurance” as a compact steam sterilizer that has a chamber volume of less than or equal to 2 cubic feet and that generates its own steam when distilled or deionized water is added by the user.
It’s an essential piece of equipment in your medical or dental practice. So, what do you need for your weekly spore test when proof of testing is required?
What Needs To Be Included In The Logging Of Mechanical Quality Assurance?
Biological indicators, or spore tests, are the most accepted means of monitoring sterilization because they assess the sterilization process directly by killing known highly resistant microorganisms. However, because spore tests are only done weekly and the results are usually not obtained immediately.
There are three required methods of sterilization monitoring:
1. Mechanical. The gages read on the dashboard of the sterilizer
2. Chemical. Testing the parameters of steam penetration leading to sterilization but not confirming sterilization
3. Biological. Testing sterilization, the only means of confirming sterilization.
For record-keeping compliance, each test must be logged!
Items Specific To Sterilizer Quality Control
Via “Guide to Infection Prevention for Outpatient Settings: Minimum Expectations for Safe Care.”
— CDC, Version 2.3, Summary Guide
The entire CDC checklist is available here.
Why not schedule sometime this week to perform a self-audit? Better yet, check out 1:1 risk management consulting with a Done Desk expert! Also, check out a live monthly webinar on infection controls, processes, and disciplines to get your whole team on board here.
Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, Done Desk is not responsible for any errors and omissions, or anyone’s interpretations, applications, and changes of regulations described. This ain’t a substitute for review of the applicable regulations and standards, and should not be construed as legal advice, okay? Check with your state board for details on this and all compliance programs for your practice. We’re happy to help you implement the appropriate programs using our platform Done Desk.
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