If it’s not clean, it can’t be sterile…right? Even though this industry mantra is widely shared and discussed, there is an aspect of the discussion that is ripe for further consideration. While the industry has been rapidly moving toward more and more adoption of monitoring every sterilization load with a biological indicator (BI), the same cannot be said of process monitoring for our mechanical washers and disinfectors. While daily monitoring of mechanical washers with process challenge devices (PCDs) is common practice in Sterile Processing departments, what happens when a failure is detected? What should happen? And why are we not testing every washer load the way we test our steam sterilization loads? This presentation hopes to provide a catalyst for this important industry conversation.
- Discuss the purpose and requirements of processing monitoring for mechanical washers and disinfectors.
- Compare the process monitoring practices of biological indicators (BIs) and cleaning PCDs.
- Outline how the current industry conversations intersect around questions of cleaning, monitoring, and failure responses.
- Describe steps users can take to build robust quality monitoring processes into their decontamination workflow, training, and competencies.