Regulatory Standards for Sterilization Monitoring Established by Alberta Health Services
In Alberta, Canada, there are regulatory standards for sterilization monitoring of equipment (that performs sterilization). These standards are governed by both Alberta Health Services, provincially, and the Ministry of Health, federally.
Both of these governing bodies have long publications that discuss requirements for making sure that equipment used for sterilizing instruments and materials is working correctly. Both bodies, however, refer to the Canadian Standards Association or CSA, which is accepted in Canada as an accredited certification institution.
The point here is that if you are going to use equipment for sterilizing instruments or tools or materials, then you are obligated to make sure that your equipment works correctly as it is designed to work, and that you also test the equipment following the manufacturers’ specifications.
There is no one way to monitor or test sterilization equipment—such as an autoclave—because there are different types of autoclaves which operate differently. And different autoclaves would have somewhat different methods for testing.
In broad strokes, what is key is understanding how your autoclave is supposed to work and adhering to the following:
- Keeping regular records of your autoclave use.
- Keeping regular records of your testing the autoclave for sterilization ability.
- Keeping regular records of any problems associated with the autoclave and what you did to fix the problem.
- Noting any repairs to the autoclave.
- If your autoclave prints out cycle records, then you have to keep the records.
- Always following the manufacturers’ instructions for both operating and testing the autoclave.
What is required in Alberta for autoclave sterilization monitoring is similar to what is required across Canada in every province and territory. The autoclave performs a critical job. Anyone tasked with operating the autoclave must keep good records and always follow the manufacturers’ instructions.
If you need help choosing, repairing, maintaining, installing, operating, or validating an autoclave, this is our business and area of expertise for many years. Give us a call, in western Canada at (888) 818-4847. We can help with every aspect of autoclaves including choosing the right one for you.
Alpha Scientific supplies, installs, and services medical equipment in western Canada. If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about medical equipment, please call our toll-free number, (888) 818-4847, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.