Testing and validation of decontamination and sterilisation equipment is a vital aspect of every practice’s decontamination procedures and should be clearly laid down in their infection control policy. This equipment is at the forefront of the battle against protein residues and cross contamination, so ensuring it is operating according to manufacturers’ specifications is an important first step in identifying possible shortfalls in performance.
Validation provides a guarantee that decontamination equipment is working to manufacturers’ specifications, showing it complies with CE-marking under the terms of the Medical Devices regulations and that all instruments cleaned by the equipment are reprocessed reliably and consistently.
Testing, on the other hand, refers to the routine tests that must be carried out on a daily, weekly or quarterly basis to ensure that equipment meets validated parameters. The results of these tests should be accurately recorded to provide the evidence of compliance that is required by the relevant regulatory bodies.
For example, a weekly protein residue test is a simple but crucial test designed to detect residual proteins left behind on dental instruments and therefore assess the effectiveness of the equipment in terms of protein removal. This test is carried out on instruments cleaned in both washer disinfectors and ultrasonic baths. Washer disinfectors and ultrasonic baths should also be routinely checked, according to manufacturers’ instructions, using a simple efficacy, or soil test, which identifies any problems with cleaning processes such as clogged or broken spray arms or deficiencies in the detergent used.
dentisan has long been at the forefront of testing and validation requirements and offers a full range of tests that a practice needs to fully audit the performance of washer disinfectors, ultrasonic cleaners and autoclaves on a daily, weekly and quarterly basis. Distributed via Henry Schein Dental, dentisan’s complete range of testing and validation indicators, provides total peace of mind and evidence of compliance for every dental practice.