Managing Records Necessary for Sterilization of Instruments and Devices

The dental industry in Canada, particularly in Ontario, has experienced some negative publicity in recent

years as it has been inspected and closed due to infection prevention and control violations.

In some cases, patients are informed that they may be exposed to infectious diseases through dental visits.

Although these breaches and patient exposures are rare, news reports in Canada, as well as breaches

reported in the United States, have raised some concerns among Canadian patients and oral health care


Record Keeping

The sterilization records of dental instruments and equipment are a key element of the dental clinic IPAC program.

The following are record keeping requirements, all of which belong to the high-risk (HR) category:


There are many opportunities for errors in the instrument reprocessing process, and any error can lead to

the failure of the sterilization process and potentially expose patients to the risk of infectious disease transmission.

RCDSO and PHAC have clear guidelines for instrument reprocessing, and following these guidelines will

help minimize the risk of processing errors. However, human factors always need to be considered.

OHCW may not have received sufficient training and/or lack experience, or may act hastily due to

scheduling or staffing issues. Regardless of the reason, reducing the likelihood of human errors in

instrument reprocessing can significantly reduce the risk of infection prevention violations and reduce the

responsibility of dental clinics or facilities. Automation of this process can reduce risks, improve

compliance, and increase efficiency.



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