Home > Learning Lab > Is Your Instrument Washer Cleaning Effectively? Can You Prove It? Are Your Patients and Staff At Risk?
Is Your Instrument Washer Cleaning Effectively?
Can You Prove It?
Are Your Patients and Staff At Risk?


It LOOKS Clean...
- Is Visual Examination Enough? Sometimes Not...


Why Focus on Wash Monitoring? Watch Instructional Video on WashChecks here

  • Washes often fail to remove all debris
  • Debris not removed in the washing process will not be removed during the sterilization process
  • Costs for treating infections can reach over $60,000 per patient infection

What is the Most Important Contaminant to be Cleaned? BLOOD

Blood Is A Special Challenge to Cleaning:

Carries blood-borne pathogens

  • Is a safety issue for employees
  • Is a cross infection potential for patients

Starts as a liquid then coagulates

  • Flows into crevices and hidden places
  • Becomes partially water-insoluble
  • Dries and is sensitive to denaturing

What Do the Chemicals & Water Do During Cleaning?

  • Re-hydrate dried blood
  • Attack the blood and dissolve it
  • Or use direct impingement
  • Provide a medium for the dissolved blood to be carried away

Today:

  • Advisory bodies recommend that washing and disinfecting processes be continually modified to add new safeguards
  • One of the only ways to demonstrate a commitment to constant improvement is to put in place process verification systems that reveal weaknesses in your process and identify opportunities to improve

A WASH MONITOR HELPS THIS PROCESS


interpretation guide


FROM THE CDC


The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states: “Validation of the cleaning processes in a laboratory-testing program is possible by microorganism detection, chemical detection for organic contaminants, radionuclide tagging, and chemical detection for specific ions. During the past few years, data have been published describing use of an artificial soil, protein, endotoxin, X-ray contrast medium, or blood to verify the manual or automated cleaning process and adenosine triphosphate bioluminescence and microbiologic sampling to evaluate the effectiveness of environmental surface cleaning. At a minimum, all instruments should be individually inspected and be visibly clean. (see Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities 2008 here).


How Does It Work?
Watch Video Here


The WashChecks Washer Monitor facilitates a red protein soil and a specifically designed holder to monitor cycle efficiency. If all the red is completely washed away after a test cycle, then it is a PASS and the washers disinfectors can be released for use. If there are any traces left of the red protein soil after a test cycle, then it is a FAIL indicating that the equipment or detergent is questionable and instruments may not be getting cleaned properly. See Pass/Fail chart above.


Do I Need a WashCheck Holder?

The WashCheck Holder keeps the WashCheck monitor secure during the wash process. It is designed so that half of the protein soil area is covered by the holder, while the other half is exposed, simulating the joint of a surgical instrument and testing the indirect impingement of the washer disinfector.


Placement of the WashCheck Monitor


The WashCheck Holder and Monitor should be placed inside the basket with the red protein spot facing up towards the outside perimeter of the spray arms. It's recommended to place a WashCheck monitor on every shelf of the cart, to test the full cycle of the washer on every level.


What Does A FAIL Mean

Some possibilities are: A clog from dried chemicals or debris. Loose/broken or blocked spray arm. Or - a problem with the detergent used for that cycle. Repair or unclog the spray arms and redo the wash cycle.

Frequency of Testing

We recommend using WashCheck Monitors DAILY to test your Washers Disinfectors or Instrument Washer. Don’t go a whole week and find out a spray arm is clogged!


Do Other Monitoring Products Work?

WashChecks have been tested against other products where they had an 85% higher detection rate than other monitors. Read the full study online.





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