Updates to AAMI ST79 guidelines

The October 2017 issue of the Healthcare Purchasing News highlights a number of important changes in the updated AAMI ST79 comprehensive guide titled “Comprehensive guide to steam sterilization and sterility assurance in health care facilities”.   One significant change affects the overall quality control efforts in Sterile Processing departments, specifically with the frequency of monitoring automated cleaning equipment.  According to this article, “It is now recommended that mechanical cleaning equipment be monitored daily and the results be documented.” (Sections 7.6.4.5 and 13.2)  This article indicates the “ST79 states that, Methods of verification include: a) directly testing individual instruments for residual soils; b) employing a test device that is a consistent and repeatable challenge to the cleaning effectiveness of the equipment; and c) monitoring critical parameters to evaluate the performance of the mechanical cleaning equipment.”

This article also discusses recommendations for manual cleaning solutions.  “With manual cleaning, it is important that cleaning agents be appropriately diluted” and “When using an automated chemical delivery system/device or sink proportioner, the automated doser should be routinely verified or calibrated.”(Section 7.6.3)

With these updated guidelines, many hospitals and surgery centers may need to evaluate both cost and performance of their current cleaning verification tests.  Increasing testing frequency will dramatically increase cost based on the price of some products.  In addition, performance of cleaning verification products should be reviewed to ensure they effectively evaluate all critical parameters affecting overall cleaning performance as recommended.

Please see our PINNACLE™ Monitor for Automated Enzymatic Cleaning Process (PINNACLE AEC) product page to learn more about our cleaning verification test for use in both washer-disinfectors and ultrasonic cleaners and our PINNACLE Monitor for Manual Enzymatic Cleaning Process (PINNACLE MEC) product page to learn about our test for manual cleaning solutions.

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