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Central Service - Issue 3/2011

Central Service - Issue 3/2011

Central Service - Issue 3/2011


  • What's New in Standardisation: Product families and processing categories
  • A plant that can grow and bloom: DIN 58921
  • 33rd French National Sterilisation Congress
  • Tübingen Reprocessing and Sterilisation Forum
  • 5th Colloquium «Medical Instruments
  • Endo Meeting in Dortmund on 13 April 2011


F. Benoit, D. Merger, R.J. Hermsen, J.P.C.M. van Doornmalen:
A comparison of four commercially available electronic steam penetration tests according to ISO 11140 part 4

Over the last decade electronic test devices have been introduced to replace the original Bowie and Dick steam penetration test. To find out if these devices are equivalent in performance to the original Bowie and Dick test four commercially available electronic steam penetration test devices were tested according to the applicable standard ISO 11140 part 4: Sterilization of health care products - Chemical indicators - Class 2 indicators as an alternative to the Bowie and Dick-type test for detection of steam penetration.
The results show that three out of the four devices tested did not produce similar results as the Bowie and Dick-type test. Test results show also that in order to produce similar results for the steam penetration test measuring and interpreting temperature and pressure only is not sufficient. A device has to able to discriminate between steam and other gases possibly present such as air. Only one device makes use of differences in physical properties of steam and non-condensable gases and demonstrates equivalent performance to the original Bowie and Dick steam penetration test.


P. Turri, C. Signori, C. Margotti, M. Lagioia, N. Silvestri, C. Oggioni:
We manage our sterilization errors - how about you?

IRCCS Istituto Clinico Humanitas (ICH) is a tertiary care hospital in northern Italy, near Milan, that offers health care for the Italian National Health Service (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale). Among others, the management of ICH is directly respobsible for the hospital-wide risk management and the hygiene department. ICH is composed of 21 multidisciplinary departments, 525 medical beds, 72 day beds, 24 intensive care beds and 150 beds for rehabilitation centers. The emergency department based in ICH treats 60,000 patients over the year and has one of the most comprehensive patient runs of all Milan hospitals. In 2008 42,187 operations were conducted, only 29 percent of which were done at the emergency department.
A hospital-wide risk management should be a main focus for each hospital to enhance patient safety. Hospitals are complex systems, and all sectors and departments can contribute to a good risk management - not just the sectors which usually will be considered to be particularly at risk. The focus on individual errors should be extended by a targeted view of insufficient operating systems and procedures. A risk management system should consist of data collection of all adverse medical events. Such data collection can be now accomplished by performance reporting systems. The subsequent results are used to learn from past errors for the future practice. Although there are other ways of identification of safety deficiencies, a sophisticated internal documentation system represents a good way of protection against risks of all responsible departments. Moreover, regular reporting supports the prevention of errors by continuously highlighting potential improvements. The treatment process of sterile items within central service is to be regarded as critical. It should be mentioned here that the topic is rarely described in risk assessment for central service and is only partially covered in the existing literature.
For this reason, in September 2006 , we decided to implement the instrument management system instacount PLUS by B. Braun Aesculap. We were looking for a documentation system to detect errors in the treatment process. The collected results were then analyzed as described below.


Recommendations by the «Quality Task Group»: Reprocessing ophthalmologic medical devices (Part 1)

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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.