Davies, Christopher S. and Pickard, James M. (2007) The development of an Integrated Decontamination and Traceability system for a multi-user clinical setting. In: Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists International Conference, May 2007, Harrogate, UK. (Unpublished)

The purpose of this paper is to share the experiences and explain the journey to facilitate a quality assured system of decontamination and traceability of instruments for practitioners in a multi-user setting. Although these developments were undertaken in a Podiatry setting they can be applied to the range of health professional settings where individuals work in group or singled-handed practices such as exist in the private practice sector of health professions.

To comply with the new regulations that came into force in January 2007, there was some urgency to adapt an existing programme for this new application and through a series of staged developments the system currently operating provides such a system.

The decision to move into this area was brought about by the sheer costs involved with centralized decontamination procedures via local or regional CSSD facilities as the initial set up costs and the annual, and subsequent year-on-year, fees to maintain the service were forecast to have been prohibitive within current financial resources. The use of disposable instruments was costed and considered to be expensive and this option was also considered to be morally questionable with regard to the increased landfill of used metal instruments. Clearly an in-house system needed to be developed that provided a quality assured, recordable and traceable system of decontamination and sterilization. In addition, the system needed to reflect good practice; meet the standards required of the professional body, and be cost effective.

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