Validation of Instrument Cleaning: First Steps in Quality Assurance
Marie T. Fluent, DDS
December 26, 2019
To ensure proper functioning, ultrasonic cleaning equipment should be tested periodically.
Newer methods to test the efficiency of an ultrasonic cleaner or instrument washer include monitor strips.
While there are a number of reasons for failure of automated cleaning equipment, most are operator error.
An ultrasonic cleaner removes debris by a process that uses electrical energy to generate sound waves that form millions of tiny bubbles. As these bubbles form and burst, the process of cavitation disrupts the bonds that hold debris on the surface of dental instruments. Observation of and listening to the device in action may ensure that the unit can be turned on, but does not ensure that it is functioning correctly.
To ensure proper functioning, ultrasonic cleaning equipment should be tested periodically. Instrument washing validation strips will add an additional safeguard to cleaning and sterilization protocols, help increase office efficiency, and ensure proper instrument reprocessing.
This eBook will address instrument cleaning validation as the first step to ensure the delivery of sterile instruments for safe patient care—because "partially sterile" is NOT an option.