CQC compliance requires an ever-growing amount of time, effort and resources in the dental sector. Ensuring effective protocols are in place in preparation for the crucial inspections is essential in order to avoid any nasty surprises or last minute panics.
The keeping of records is a particularly cumbersome yet vital aspect, and the equipment used for decontamination and sterilisation lies at the heart of ensuring compliance.
HTM 01-05 2.4n states: “Equipment used to decontaminate dental instruments should be fit for purpose and validated. This means that the device should be commissioned, maintained and periodically tested by a Competent Person (Decontamination) or service engineer, that records of maintenance should be kept and that correct functioning should be monitored and recorded”.
Therefore all testing reports are required to be kept for documentary evidence of the effectiveness of equipment in the dental practice. However, the meticulous task of record keeping can be time consuming and also has the potential for inaccurate logging of data due to inevitable human error. It is therefore crucial to try to find a way to enhance the efficiency of your record keeping and streamline this process, whilst maintaining the quality of data.
One area that can be especially time consuming is the recording of daily and weekly test cycle data of your autoclave and/or washer disinfector. From the everyday ACT tests completed each morning to measure the time, steam and temperature of the autoclave, to the weekly residual air and air leakage tests, each check requires detailed annotation, documented in a daily logbook for every piece of equipment in the practice.
Although absolutely essential in terms of practice inspections, manually having to record this data and then store it can often be seen as more than a mere inconvenience. Some autoclaves will have a printer installed, which will print off a receipt that should be kept, which makes the process a little easier and more efficient, but it still requires time and effort to collate these print-offs, not to mention the physical space needed to store the data.
However, there are new technological solutions that can make all of this a thing of the past. The latest autoclaves from Eschmann are compatible with computer software that can capture all of the data necessary from your tests and automatically save it onto your PC. This means you have no forms to fill in and store, and you don't have to transfer data using memory cards or USB devices.
With such software you will benefit from quick and easy cycle sign-off at the click of a button and you could even monitor the progress of your cycle from your PC or laptop. The latest software will also show you when your instruments are ready for use, as the software operates in real-time meaning it is always up to the minute, which is precisely what you need in a busy dental practice.
The Eschmann real-time Wireless Cycle Logger with automatic daily/weekly test cycle software is compatible with the company's own autoclaves and washer disinfectors. Providing automatic population of daily and weekly test cycle records, this software is making manual record keeping and storage a thing of the past, while also providing added security through accurately recorded and validated cycles and tests ready for official inspection.
To take away any unnecessary worry in the lead up to your next CQC inspection, make sure you have everything in place now.
For more information please visit www.eschmann.co.uk, or call 01903 753322