Introduction - Aftercare and maintenance
This chapter discusses what is going on behind the scenes in the field of infection prevention.
In the previous case, the thermodesinfector was not forgotten by the hustle and bustle of the last moment. The responsible assistant normally does not work one afternoon. As a result, she might not have had enough routine to complete all work at the end of the working day and could have turned on the thermo washer disinfector...
From the case, a vulnerable point in practices with more assistants becomes clear. In order to ensure that all routine operations have been carried out under all circumstances, there must be a checklist. On this checklist, things can be mentioned as lights off, computer off, dishwasher on. The last employee who leaves the practice must always ensure that all the actions mentioned have actually been carried out.
It goes without saying that these checklists must be checked periodically and adjusted if necessary.
All of this contributes to efficient business operations and can indirectly guarantee a proper rhythm of use of the thermodisinfector.
In the sterilization room instruments are prepared for reuse. This process is also called reconditioning. It is extremely important to have certainty about the correct application of the prescribed method for reconditioning. A checklist and a description of the activities (protocol) must therefore be present for all operations in the sterilization area. This is not only necessary for trainees and new staff, but also as a reminder for permanent staff. A protocol describes step by step all actions, devices and materials that are in use in the relevant practice. Due to the variety of equipment, cleaning and disinfection agents and the individual layout of the sterilization room, there is no standard protocol for reconditioning.
The safe handling of dirty instruments and the careful reconditioning not only require thorough knowledge, but also require practical training of the staff!
An unqualified assistant (such as who is still working in oral care) may certainly not be unskilled with regard to patient safety in the field of infection prevention in dental practice!
The protocols must be simple and clearly written, easily accessible and systematically up-to-date.