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IDI - Irish Decontamination Institute

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Central Service - Issue 2/2010

Central Service - Issue 2/2010

Central Service - Issue 2/2010


  • What's New in Standardisation: Rules for Standards
  • Reprocessing - Keep it Simple Please! Forum Medical Devices & Processes, 27 February 2010 in Berlin
  • 2nd Sterilisation Symposium in Heidelberg
  • Free Access to E-Paper
  • 8th Sterilisation Specialist Forum at Munich University Hospital
  • SHEA Guideline for Reprocessing Prion-Contaminated Medical Instruments
  • The CSC 50th Anniversary Meeting


H. Oehlmann:
Marking Surgical Instruments in the Sterilisation Process Unique Identification Mark, Barcode versus RFID

The risks of confusing surgical instruments at the time of use can be avoided by means of automatic identification methods. Two articles in Central Service F3/2009 and 6/2009 (1) have already focused on risks as well as on methodical solutions based on optical marking and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). The present paper shall make references to those publications and take a closer look at the methods used for unique identification marking systems which are being supported by national standardisation institutes in ISO, such as AFNOR, ANSI, BSI, DIN, etc., and further developed by healthcare associations, e.g. the European Health Industry Business Communication Council (EHIBCC). The solution developed by DIN (German Institute for Standardisation) in line with ISO standards "Unique Identification Mark UIM" (2) is based on the smallest data elements that fit onto both a Data Matrix code measuring 3 u 3 mm as well as an RFID transponder. The cornerstone is an individual and unique serial number per instrument. Unique Identification Marks (UIMs) are being used not only in hospitals but have already been tried out on a large scale in industrial settings ranging from electronics to automotive branches. A cursory glance suggests that solutions seem to diverge due to the use of different technologies, with on the one hand optical solutions and, on the other hand, radio frequency identification, but the differences are merely of a technical nature. The common denominator is the unique data element. The basis here is the technical ISO standards guaranteeing unique identification across institutions, partners and countries, and thus assuring their validability.The unique identification required is assured not through the equivalence of identical character sets and structures, but rather through a well-tried and tested hierarchical order and regulation of responsibilities. The latter rests with the qualified marker as manufacturer of service provider who as far as possible complies with the pertinent standards to assure reliable functioning also during the sterilisation process, but without any overlapping arising. The HIBC-UIM solution and associated standard DIN 66401 - unique identification mark can be used without any risk, based on practical experiences since 2004.


DGKH, DEGEA, DGSV, DGVS, AKI, AK RDG, Manufacturers of flexible endoscopes:
Hygienic and Microbiological Inspection of Flexible Endoscopes after Reprocessing

This recommendation will be featured as an annex to the "Guideline for validation of automated cleaning and disinfection processes for reprocessing heat-sensitive endoscopes", which is being currently drafted by, among others, the German Society of Hospital Hygiene (DGKH), German Society of Sterile Supply (DGSV), German Society of Endoscopy Assistant Personnel (DEGEA) and Working Group Instrument Preparation (AKI).
Here the complete list of societies and expert representatives involved in compiling the guideline:
German Society of Hospital Hygiene (DGKH)
German Society of Endoscopy Assistant Personnel (DEGEA)
German Society of Sterile Supply (DGSV)
German Society for Digestive and Metabolic Diseases (DGVS)
Working Group Instrument Preparation (AKI)
Working Group of Washer-Disinfector Manufacturers (AK RDG)
Endoscope manufacturers

Recommendations by the Quality Task Group (AK »Qualität«): Decontamination of Containers

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Free Access to Central Service E-Paper
Since 2008 Central Service has also been available as electronic E-Paper version. Subscriptions are possible to the print issue only, the online E-Paper issue only, or as a combined subscription to both. A free E-Paper version of back issues of Central Service is now available for subscribers to the print issue (starting from Volume 16, 2008). Please contact to order your free E-Paper access code.