There has been a wide range of advances in the technology for cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing medical instruments and equipment. While not new, ultrasonic cleaners have become more advanced, leading to more effective cleaning of even the most complex and delicate medical instruments.
In the medical field, ultrasonic cleaners are considered one of the most effective cleaning options. They use a combination of high frequency sound waves (ultrasonic waves) as well specially formulated enzymatic detergents to break down organic material on these devices and equipment.
To ensure optimal cleaning conditions exist during the ultrasonic cleaning process, four critical parameters must be addressed. These include the activity of the enzymatic detergent, wash cycle time, wash cycle temperature and mechanical action of the unit. AORN (Association of periOperative Registered Nurses) recommends testing of the ultrasonic cleaning equipment a minimum of a once per week, ideally on a daily basis. In addition, AAMI ST79:2010 (Association of the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation) states that the enzymatic detergent is the most important aspect of the cleaning process.
The Pinnacle™ AEC Test
Serim has developed an easy to use ultrasonic cleaner test that is specifically designed to monitor the entire enzymatic cleaning processes especially the activity of the enzymatic detergent.
Our PINNACLE™ ultrasonic cleaner test strips are easily used, they are placed into an ultrasonic unit along with the instruments during a normal cleaning cycle. This makes daily testing very easy, and the strips can be saved as a record of your testing.
The PINNACLE™ test strips have an indicator pad that will change color due to the activity of the enzymatic detergent, the wash cycle time, the wash cycle temperature, and the mechanical action of your ultrasonic cleaner.
Immediately after the cycle is completed, the strip is removed and compared to the reference pad on the strip. A color change on the indicator pad indicates your ultrasonic unit is operating properly. This provides a complete picture of the efficiency of your equipment. Lack of a color change indicates your ultrasonic unit has a shortcoming in one of the four critical factors influencing enzymatic cleaning and is likely not properly cleaning the instruments. In these situations, all four factors should be investigated and appropriate corrections made.
In addition to testing ultrasonic cleaning units, the PINNACLE™ AEC test also tests the same four critical factors for proper cleaning in using medical washer-disinfector units used for medical instrument cleaning.