The New State of Sterilization “What is It?”
With the ongoing threat of Covid-19, the world of sterilization has taken a dramatic turn. The CDC, FDA, AMA, and ADA amongst others are not only stepping up monitoring of current regulations but are also drastically changing what is now being considered “standard guidelines” of cleanliness and disinfection. There is no longer a “wipe it down with whatever you have between patients and keep going” attitude. And suddenly all those manufacturers’ recommendations for the proper use and care of equipment seem to mean a whole lot more. We even see businesses changing entire physical layouts and operating procedures to allow for the proper cleaning and sterilization of equipment and facilities.
Health-care workers should always be aware of the federal laws and regulations that govern the use of disinfectants and sterilants and how to properly apply them. They should also know the best practices and procedures of any sterilization products/equipment they are using or operating. Because the landscape is suddenly so different (and still changing) we wanted to point out two of the major areas (amongst many) that you will definitely want to keep up on.
There is a HUGE distinction between cleaning and disinfecting. Disinfectant wipes ARE NOT created equal and you cannot afford any longer to not pay attention to exactly what is needed, where it’s needed, and when it’s needed.
Some wipes are good for cleaning and some for disinfecting. You need to ensure you know what the product you are using is good for. And you should know that Alcohol is a great disinfectant but it DOES NOT CLEAN. So wiping down to disinfect high traffic areas that are touchable in any way is the perfect use of an alcohol-based wipe. However, if there is any Bioburden then alcohol doesn’t cut it. You have to clean the surface before it can be disinfected so you should use a wipe that is also designed for cleaning like Optim Wipes. They use an accelerated hydrogen peroxide solution that CLEANS and DISINFECTS.
Another major point here is that you want to be certain that the wipe is designed to allow for the proper “Contact Time” of the chemical solution being applied. Contact time is the amount of time a solution must remain wet on a surface to eradicate the germs/viruses you are combating. If the wipe isn’t designed properly you may have to use twice as many or more to get the desired result.
All disposable wipes will have an MSDS to give you all the information you need for physical & chemical properties, toxicity, flammability, first-aid, proper handling, and more. With this, you can ascertain the safety and ability of the product to properly complete the job you are doing.
Please feel free to check our news feed for articles/information on the major wipes. We showcase their ability to clean/disinfect as well as “Heads-Up” comparisons between top sellers.
The major point being brought to the forefront with sterilizers is the area of Process Monitoring, Testing, and Quality Control. Gone are the days of running multiple cycles through sterilizers for days and weeks on end without any monitoring and testing of equipment and machines.
Facilities and operators are going to be required more stringently to perform verification testing on all mechanical cleaning equipment and individual instruments as part of the overall quality assurance program. ADA & CDC along with ANSI/AAMI says they will include more product identification and traceability; physical, chemical, and biological monitoring of steam sterilization cycles with incubators and data loggers; residual air (Bowie-Dick type) testing of dynamic-air-removal sterilizers; periodic product quality assurance; product recalls; and related quality control measures.
How to Keep Up
At Sterilizer Autoclave Solutions we are here to help you understand and keep up with the changes in protocols. We have the proper Sterilizers, Ultrasonic Cleaners, Incubators, Biological Indicators, Ultrasonic Indicators, and methods in place. We offer FREE TECH SUPPORT to help you learn when and how to use and maintain your equipment. And we even offer a FREE PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE PROGRAM to keep you on track and worry-free about times and dates that your equipment needs any type of preventive maintenance or parts.
We are here to help you get the equipment you need to help keep your practice and staff up to date. And we have the knowledge to help you decide exactly what you need and how to use it in the proper way.