The layout of the reprocessing area
Successful infection control is vital in all dentist practices, the following are the design features of the reprocessing area :
– One way instrument flow (to avoid contamination when cleaning instrument);
– A good level of lighting to lower the risk of injury, this can also be used to facilitate instrument inspections;
– Efficient ventilation;
– Non-slip impermeable flooring;
– Smooth work surfaces without cracks made of non-porous materials such as artificial stone, granite, stainless steel or laminate to facilitate cleaning. There must be no inaccessible areas where moisture or soil can accumulate;
– Medium sized apparatus, overhead storage cupboards to reduce bending and stretching to a minimum;
– 2 x deep sinks, one for instrument cleaning, the other for handwashing; both equipped with anti-splash devices;
– 2 x non-touch taps for both temperatures with proximity to hand wash dispensers;
– Sufficient storage space (cupboards, shelves, drawers) to keep operating space as free as possible; this space can be used to store sterilised packages, tracking guns, logbooks, cleaning agents & sealing bags;
– Sufficient bench space is also a vital part of efficient work practices, along with a cooling area for sterile items awaiting storage. This is essential to prevent damage to packs. When trays of instruments are removed from the steam steriliser, ensure that they are placed onto racks and not onto work benches. This is key in preventing damage from water condensation under the cooling packages.
Decontamination Room Layout – Single Room
The layout of the single decontamination room is generally recommended for small practices. The room should have 2 doors, one for entry and one for exit (from dirty to clean) as well as ventilation in the opposite direction to minimise the risks of recontamination. If the structure of the practice doesn’t allow for such a room, procedures must be put in place in order to ensure that the dirty instruments do not contaminate those which are clean and sterilised.
Decontamination Room Layout – Double room
The arrangement of a double room is recommended in order to minimise cross contamination during sterilisation. A double door washer disinfector can be installed between the two rooms.