The delivery of sterile products for use in patient care depends not only on the effectiveness of the sterilization process but also on the unit design, decontamination, disassembling and packaging of the device, loading the sterilizer, monitoring, sterilant quality and quantity, and the appropriateness of the cycle for the load contents, and other aspects of device reprocessing.
Healthcare personnel should perform most cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilizing of patient-care supplies in a central processing department in order to more easily control quality.
When three consecutive cycles show negative biological indicators and chemical indicators with a correct end point response, you can put the change made into routine use The central processing area(s) ideally should be divided into at least three areas: decontamination, packaging, and sterilization and storage.
Physical barriers should separate the decontamination area from the other sections to contain contamination on used items.
A sterilization process should be verified before it is put into use in healthcare settings.
Personnel working in the decontamination area should wear household-cleaning-type rubber or plastic gloves when handling or cleaning contaminated instruments and devices.The sterile storage area should be a limited access area with a controlled temperature (may be as high as 75°F) and relative humidity (30-60% in all works areas except sterile storage, where the relative humidity should not exceed 70%).The floors and walls should be constructed of materials capable of withstanding chemical agents used for cleaning or disinfecting.This equipment often is automated and may increase productivity, improve cleaning effectiveness, and decrease worker exposure to blood and body fluids.Delicate and intricate objects and heat- or moisture-sensitive articles may require careful cleaning by hand.Biological and chemical indicator testing is also done for ongoing quality assurance testing of representative samples of actual products being sterilized and product testing when major changes are made in packaging, wraps, or load configuration.