Sterilising Services in Oral Health
The effective use of cleaning, disinfection and sterilisation and procedures in Oral Health facilities is essential in the prevention of healthcare associated infections. Numerous published articles documenting the transmission of infection after improper reprocessing of reusable medical devices have emphasised the requirement for all health care services to use appropriate cleaning, disinfection and sterilisation techniques.
CHRISP has customised the Easi-Sterilise [including the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), Workplace Skills Assessment (WSA) and Oral Health Sterilising Assessment tool (OHSAT)] to ensure that Queensland Health Oral Health facilities meet the minimum requirements for the reprocessing of reusable dental instruments and equipment in line with AS/NZS 4815:2006 Office-based health care facilities - Reprocessing of reusable medical and surgical instruments and equipment, and maintenance of the associated environment.
The overarching document that guides reprocessing practices within Queensland Health is the Queensland Health Disinfection and Sterilisation Guidelines (2009), and is based on the requirements of relevant Australian Standards.
Oral Health facilities that undertake reprocessing activities must ensure compliance with Queensland Health policies, guidelines and relevant standards. A review of instrument reprocessing practice shall be undertaken every 6 months in all clinics that reprocess reusable dental instruments.
In 2010, CHRISP developed the Oral Health Sterilising Assessment Tool (OHSAT) to assist Oral Health facilities meet their minimum obligations for the reprocessing of reusable dental instruments.
OHSAT Assessment Tool (word document template for on-line completion & saving, and/or for printing & manual completion)
OHSAT Score Sheet
Standard Operating Procedures
To assist Oral Health facilities operationalise QH policy, standards and guidelines, a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), Draft Workplace Skills Assessments (WSA) and other supporting documents have been developed to provide a framework for the minimum set of standards for undertaking reprocessing activities.
These tools have been developed for use as:
A resource for staff
A replacement for the Oral Health Critical Instrument Tracking Train the Trainer Manual (2003)
A framework to assist staff identify their level of competence and identify areas where improvement may be needed
A resource to identify opportunites for improvement within the department that will require further education and training
|Packaging and Wrapping Procedures|
|Sterile Storage Area Procedures|
Currently across Queensland Health - Oral Health Facilities, CHRISP in conjunction with Austmel are implementing a training program for the use of:
- new batch labels
- loading and trouble shooting of the batch label guns.
Pre-sterilisation labelling and checking of batch labels is a five (5) step checking process. These steps are all important to ensure the items to be sterilised and steriliser has been through the process and increase patient safety by reducing the incidence of unprocessed instruments being put back into use:
- Determine which steriliser (if more than one) the items are to be sterilised - select the correct label gun for the steriliser (if more than one label gun available)
- Determine the cycle number the items will be sterilized. (Check the last sterilisation cycle printout and add one. Some sterilisers count the bowie dick test cycles as a cycle number others do not).
- Set the cycle number on the label gun correctly
- Check the day and date and set the date on the label gun correctly
- Print a test label to ensure the above information is aligned correctly on the label, the information is clear and legible.
Please Note: The change of the class 1 chemical indicator on the label does not indicate sterility, but that the instruments have been put through the process. The print outs from the sterilisers are your definitive check that the full cycle has completed correctly and instruments have been sterilised.
The resources available to ensure correct use of the labels and label gun are:
- Link to MEDITRAX Label Applicator Training Video (large file warning)
- Link to Suretrax Indicator Label Interpretation Guide (large file warning)
- Posters (provided at each inservice session)
Performance Requalification (PQ) for Steam Sterilisers
To assist Dental Assistants to be involved in the annual process of Performance Qualification of the small steam sterilisers three resources have been developed.
The following documents must be used in conjunction with the Queensland Health Disinfection and Sterilisation Guidelines and the Standard Operating Procedures for Oral Health:
Oral Health Orientation Manual Template NEW
Validation of bench-top sterilisers fact sheet
Oral Health Infection Control checklist
All files are in Microsoft Powerpoint format. Click on hyperlink below and choose SAVE as your option. Save file to a shared drive folder.
- Overview of Standard Operating Procedures
- Standard Operating Procedures 1
- Standard Operating Procedures 2
- Standard Operating Procedures 3
- Standard Operating Procedures 4
- Standard Operating Procedures 5
- Short Version for Clinicians