This week we had a story about "loading your dishwasher." So many times I have heard people say their automatic washer is just like their dishwasher and in a way that is true. As the article points out, if you do not load your automatic dishwasher correctly you will get dirty knives and forks and everything else. The same is true with a medical instrument washer. If you do not open the box locks properly they will not get exposed to the complete process correctly.
Did you also know that household dishwashers can receive the NSF seal certifying that they have passed a test for sanitization? NSF/ANSI 184-Residential Dishwashers provides methodology and evaluation criteria to ensure that dishwashers clean and sanitize dishes to help prevent food borne illness.
Recently Dr. Michele Alfa and her team from St. Boniface Research Center in Winnipeg, Canada published an article "Cleaning efficacy of medical device washer in North American healthcare facilities." This study evaluates the importance monitoring your medical device washers and using a surrogate device that best represents what you are trying to clean: blood on stainless steel instrument).
Here is a link to read the abstract:
Both the Dishwasher article and Dr. Alfa's article remind us of how important it is to not only load our washers correctly, but to also monitor the process to make sure we are getting the items we are washing clean.