Characteristics of a Quality Medical Equipment Sterilizer

One of the most important machines in a hospital or dental office is the medical equipment sterilizer. This is the machine which allows equipment to be re-used on multiple patients without the fear of cross-contamination. Containing the spread of disease is always a top priority and an equipment sterilizer plays a central role in this strategy. Unfortunately, not all sterilizers are created equal which makes choosing a quality medical equipment sterilizer essential. There are four characteristics all quality sterilizers share.

The most important characteristic is a user-friendly design. When sterilizers fail, it is normally due to user error rather than a design miscue. There are two ways a sterilizer should be user-friendly. The first is machine operation. An easy to use user interface makes all the difference. The best sterilizers have 3 basic settings that can be modified based on what task it is trying to accomplish. They are a test mode, user mode, and maintenance mode. The chamber also plays a key role in usability. A free contact chamber allows users to put more medical equipment in each load without risking a decrease in efficacy.

Another important characteristic is versatility. A quality sterilizer can effectively sanitize a broad range of instruments. This is accomplished by removing the need for specific facility such as vent and water supply lines. Additionally, removing aeration time of the sterilization process allows for both immediate use and packaged storage. A recent breakthrough in sterilization is the low temperature plasma sterilization technology. This approach is gentler on rigid scopes which reduce the risk of damaging scopes and other delicate medical equipment. As an added benefit, reducing damage to equipment increases the long-term cost-savings a quality sterilizer can provide.

The speed or cycling time of a medical equipment sterilizer is essential to consider as well. Shorter sterilization cycle times are the only way to improve device turnaround time. Quality sterilizers offer a cycle time of 21 minutes for standard cycles and 38 minutes for advanced cycles. Quick turnaround times reduce the amount of inventory a hospital or medical facility must keep. This can significantly relieve the financial burden of a hospital.

In a plasma-based sterilizer, a strong penetration power is critical. It is what determines the overall efficacy of the sterilization process. To achieve a high penetration power, the sterilizer must effectively remove air tightness between the hose and lumen chamber.

Identifying and utilizing a quality medical equipment sterilizer provides numerous benefits to hospitals and other medical facilities. It will provide a greater long-term ROI, improve efficacy, and ensure staff can easily use the device with minimal training.