Automatic Control Test: Surgical Instrument Washer Disinfectors

HTM, WHTM and SDCEP requires that this test is carried out quarterly and annually.

What Is It?

This is an observational test that records the operation of the machine and demonstrates that the process is repeatable by comparing the results against previous tests. Key stages of the cleaning cycle are validated, such as cycle length, and that the temperature is as required by the manufacturer and also for the specific detergent used.

When Is It Performed?

HTM, WHTM and SDCEP requires that this test is carried out quarterly and annually.

Document Reference Periodic Testing
Automatic Control Test HTM 01-05 15.3    




WHTM 01-05 15.3
SDCEP 6.2.1 Freq as manufacturer

D = Day | W =Weekly | Q = Quarterly | Y = Yearly | CP(D) = Competent Person (Decontamination) | ENG = Engineer

How is it Done?

Each individual stage is explained below:

Step 1

To perform the test manually, start a routine cycle.

Make sure that the door locking mechanism is initiated.

Step 2

Be ready with your stopwatch. You will need to time the length of the disinfection stage. This will be indicated by your washer disinfector.

When the disinfection stage starts, begin your stopwatch.

Step 3

During the disinfection stage, record the minimum and maximum temperatures displayed.

Step 4

As with the start of the disinfection stage, your washer disinfector will also inform you when this has completed. When the stage has completed, stop your stopwatch. In order to pass the test the stage time and temperature must be as required by the manufacturer. Common disinfection times and temperatures are: 80°C - 85°C for 10 mins, 90°C - 95°C for 1 minute. The display must also provide an indication of ‘Cycle Complete’.

Step 5

You will need to record in the washer disinfector log book the cycle number, the length of the stage time and the minimum and maximum temperatures noted during that period. A record of who carried out the test is also required.

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