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Remember: Testing your office autoclave isn’t optional.

Remember: Testing your office autoclave isn’t optional.

8/23/2017 10:11:10 AM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 190
Is your office spore testing at least once per week?

Untested autoclaves can lead to sick patients. They can also leave a practice owner open to stiff fines, lawsuits … even suspension of their license.
 
The Challenge of Compliance
 
In Texas, State Board Rule 108.24 states that “sterilization equipment and its adequacy shall be tested and verified in accord with the American Dental Association recommendations.”

Both American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control recommend autoclave spore testing at a minimum of once per week.
 
Staying in compliance with spore testing requirements can be a real challenge, especially if your staff skips a week due to vacations, scheduling changes or a heavy patient load. 
 
If the person you’ve put in charge of spore testing drops the ball, how can you avoid long gaps that can make your office non-compliant?

        
  • Set a reminder alert in your office’s computer calendar
  •     
  • Place a reminder next to the sterilizer to run a weekly spore test
  •     
  • Give testing responsibility to two employees instead of just one

 

Likely Scenarios
 
Since Texas regulations recognize ADA recommendations as State guidelines, testing isn’t an optional exercise. You may know of a practice that hasn’t done any spore testing, ever. We’ve found several.
 
Your office may have completed the testing, but neglected to send the specimens in to be examined. Or, your practice may have done testing, but never kept records.
 
We strongly recommend that you maintain at least three years worth of spore testing records.
 
Testing Supplies
 
Several testing companies supply biological indicators. When testing is completed, these indicators are returned to the testing company’s lab to determine if your autoclave is functioning properly. There are also several companies that provide testing kits that allow practices to test and see the results on-site in their own office.
 
If administered in a timely, proper, way, either spore testing method ensures compliance with Texas regulations and helps keep your patients safe.
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