Critical Steps in a comprehensive Decontamination Programme

Home 5 News 5 Critical Steps in a comprehensive Decontamination Programme

Across the UK’s various hospitals, medical research facilities and other healthcare sites, millions of instruments are processed, washed and sterilised every month.

In order to maintain the highest standards of hygiene, it’s essential to have a number of procedures and checks in place not only to inform on standards but to maintain them over the course of time. And to guide, set, implement and test these standards requires the right services and consultancy partner.

As part of an ongoing development and training programme, your decontamination services partner should implement a series of periodic device testing, and a series of checklists to ensure that in-house staff have a reference point for procedures to avoid missteps.

Such a programme should include:

  • Ensuring that industry standards and professional guidelines are required reading for all staff involved in device processing.
  • Ensuring that a periodic testing schedule is set up and maintained.
  • A device categorisation check sheet identifying the key attributes of various devices (material, weight, design, sterile barrier system and packaging system) to ensure appropriate sterilisation procedures are applied accordingly.
  • A strong focus on documentation – from equipment servicing schedules and operator competency to knowledge assessments for all operators, a comprehensive documentation process needs to be implemented.

The implementation of checklists covering:

  • Reference materials for current standards
  • Standard Operating Procedures for the department’s periodic testing schedules
  • Filing and categorisation of each device’s operating manual, instructions for use
  • Categorisation and procedure for categorisation of each device in the department
  • Device processing and testing procedures
  • Documentation procedures
  • Audit and review procedures for quality assurance

All operatives within the decontamination department should also be reminded of ever-changing industry standards and the importance of updating current policies and procedures to reflect those changes.

This will help to ensure all requirements are met, required standards are understood and implemented, and that all staff involved in the process are up to speed with what is required.

AVM Services provides a comprehensive range of training and consultancy services to support the highest standards in decontamination. Contact us today on 01223 254499 or info@avm-addenbrookes.org.uk to find out more.

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