Over the past two years, due to the pandemic, a common farewell has been “stay safe”. As we have now farewelled 2021, this would also be an appropriate wish for all working in veterinarian practices. The cleaning method of choice for reusable instruments in most Veterinarian practices is handwashing or ultrasonic cleaners, but is this the best method for the staff or future patients. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the general public are now a lot more aware of infections and as many restrictions are now easing, it is an ideal time to consider improvements in your practice’s prevention of healthcare associated infections. There are two audiences to consider. The staff who handle the dirty instruments and the next patient those instruments are used on.
With either handwashing or using an ultrasonic cleaner, the staff are handling undisinfected instruments. It is also labour intensive and therefore the opportunity cost is that staff are not available income earning activities. The method that has been used by the medical industry for cleaning dirty instruments used in human procedures for decades, is being adopted in a wider array of practices, including veterinarians. That is the use of a washer disinfector. Here are five benefits why you should consider using a washer disinfector to clean the reusable instruments in your practice.
There are three risks that a washer disinfector reduces.
There is no need for manual handling prior to using a thermal washer disinfector and only handling of an undisinfected instrument is putting the dirty utensil into the rack of the washer disinfector. Once you run the thermal washer disinfector, the instrument is clean, disinfected and already dry, ready for bagging to be sterilised. Less handling reduces the risk of an injury and exposure to the bacteria and virus present on the instrument.
The risk of not properly cleaning the instruments thoroughly of the bio burden and therefore potentially baking on micro organisms via the sterilisation process that can dislodge when used on a future patient. During a cleaning cycle, instruments are repeatedly exposed to high pressure sprays from water jets with a high instrument grade liquid detergent that rapidly breaks down proteins and liquids. Further rinsing cycles removes acid and all traces of detergents.
2. Opportunity Cost
Compare the monthly labour costs for the time spent washing dirty instruments by hand and then drying them, to the cost of a washer disinfector that frees up staffs time for revenue generating activities. If they are taking 30 minutes a day to hand wash, it is likely costing your practice more economically than the monthly cost of a machine. Imagine what would be a better use of your staff’s time if the cleaning was automated. In our home lives, we have all moved to using a dishwasher. It’s time to automate the process at work also.
The cycle time for a washer disinfector is only 45 - 55 minutes. Once the staff load the machine, they can be doing other tasks. When the cycle is finished the instruments are dry and ready to be bagged for sterilising.
The operation of a Washer/Disinfector is completely automatic and thus removes the human variabilities from the process. Using a standard process with specified temperatures and a specific time for each part of the cycle, a washer disinfector standardises the results you achieve, consistently every single wash. This consistency provides the practice with a guaranteed level of cleanliness and disinfection that is not possible when manually washing by hand or using an Ultrasonic cleaner.
There is good scientific evidence that has determined an 80% reduction of <101 micro organisms and 98% with <102, by using a washer disinfector with a final rise of >85C. The evidence also showed that the bacterial contamination on dirty surgical instruments was not reduced by soaking for an hour in detergent. Get the assurance that comes with knowing your instruments are both clean and disinfected before you sterilised them.
5. Self cleaning
Regardless how many cycles you use the washer disinfector each day, it self cleans. This eliminates any requirement or time to clean the washer disinfector unit and there is also no downtime while the unit is being cleaned.
Sanitech offers two models of Washer Disinfectors that provide all these benefits. There is the larger freestanding unit as well as a bench top unit. As an additional benefit to the local economy, both are proudly made in Australia.
For as little as $436.00 per month (over a 36 month period), you could have a Sanitech 9100 Series Thermal Washer Disinfector cleaning all your dirty instruments and providing you all these benefits.
To learn more about how your Vet practice can benefit from a Sanitech Washer Disinfector to thermally wash and disinfect your reusable instruments, contact Sanitech on 03 9809 2701 or complete this inquiry form.