The Best Way To Monitor Your Ultrasonic Bath and Why It Matters
The introduction of ultrasonic cleaning machines in the 1950s has led to a change in the future of cleaning. The versatility of the ultrasonic bath has made the machine popular among many industries. Accordingly, healthcare facilities have added ultrasonic baths to their extensive cleaning protocols.
The Increased Popularity of Ultrasonic Cleaners in Healthcare
Advancements in medical devices have improved patient care. However, the complex designs of these instruments and equipment have made manual cleaning more time-consuming and challenging for healthcare facilities. Traditional cleaning methods, such as manual scrubbing and washing with detergents, often miss hidden contaminants. As we know, thoroughly cleaning before disinfection and sterilization will ensure the effectiveness of the whole process reducing Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs).
Ultrasonic Cleaners are a necessity in any setting performing invasive procedures, including non-clinical facilities like tattoo and piercing shops. Therefore, all facilities performing these procedures must understand how their baths work and how to monitor them.
How an Ultrasonic Bath Works
To clean medical devices in an ultrasonic bath, place the instruments in a basket and immerse them in the tank. The generator in the ultrasonic bath converts electrical energy into mechanical energy in the form of sound waves causing bubbles to form. When the bubbles land on the items in the ultrasonic bath, they implode, removing contaminants. A process called cavitation. Ultrasonic sound waves range from 20 – 100 kHz, and cleaning typically occurs between 40 – 60 kHz. The time of exposure, the temperature of the water in the tank, and cleaning solutions also contribute to the cleaning of instruments in the ultrasonic bath.
Validation Testing and Routine Monitoring
In the healthcare industry, even a minor machinery malfunction can have a catastrophic impact on patient safety. Therefore, it is essential for any facility using instruments for invasive procedures to have their ultrasonic cleaning machine working efficiently every time. Visual inspection is inadequate in spotting any remaining inorganic and organic materials on medical devices. Historically foil testing has been a reliable tool. However, it merely confirms the presence of cavitation. It cannot evaluate the bath for any other measures of cleanliness. Instead, optimal validation testing should use a chemical indicator specifically designed to mirror the soil found on medical instruments, which poses a challenge to all of the ways ultrasonic baths work.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends validation testing of all equipment at installation and repair, then verifying each cycle with a cleaning monitor. Therefore, all facilities must use a specific performance monitor that tests all the critical parameters of an ultrasonic bath cycle.
Therefore, all facilities must use a specific performance monitor that tests all the critical parameters of an ultrasonic bath cycle.
OK-Sonic™ UltraSonic Bath Monitor
OK-Sonic™ UltraSonic Bath Monitor is the ideal solution for validation testing and routine monitoring of your ultrasonic bath. OK-Sonic will challenge the time, temperature, cavitation, and detergent of the bath.
OK-Sonic™ has two blue soil spots to mimic blood and tissue found on surgical instruments. Place the indicator in its holder, which features a closed and open section. The covered soil spot imitates challenging conditions for cleaning, including hinges, cavities, and crowded baskets. The open soil area simulates easy-to-clean instruments, allowing total exposure to cleaning cycle parameters inside an ultrasonic cleaner basket. An effective cycle will remove all soil from the indicator providing the confidence needed to transfer the instrument to the next stage of reprocessing.