Sterilization Monitor

To help control the spread of infectious diseases in medical offices, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has published infection control guidelines, in which they recommend that the sterilization process be monitored weekly using a biological indicator. Most states now require the use of biological indicators to monitor the sterilization process, and specify the frequency with which the monitoring must occur.

Biological indicators, which contain living nonpathogenic bacterial spores, are the only means of monitoring sterility. Chemical indicators, such as autoclave tape and color change strips, simply show that an item has been through a sterilizer cycle; they do not verify that the equipment has operated effectively, or that the item is sterile. These non-biological indicators are frequently used for monitoring each sterilizer cycle in addition to the required periodic biological indicator testing.

Quality control testing of sterilization equipment is necessary because studies show that as many as 20% of sterilization cycles fail 1. Testing the sterilization process with a biological indicator can reveal procedural problems such as overloading, improper loading, incorrect packaging, and operator error. It will also detect mechanical problems with the sterilizer.

AUTOCHECK provides all the necessary materials to monitor sterilization, including return postage. A positive control, necessary for quality assurance of the monitoring test system is included. A report is generated for each test and can be immediately delivered by e-mail or sent via the US Postal Service. If a test shows that sterility was not achieved, your office would be contacted immediately by telephone. Consultative services are offered at no additional charge; we are available to help your staff solve sterilization-related problems. A certificate of participation, suitable for display, is provided with each kit.

The AUTOCHECK Laboratory at Emory University Hospital operates as a specialized testing laboratory within Emory Medical Laboratories, a comprehensive, state-of-the-art clinical, laboratory which remains on the forefront of laboratory science and provides for the clinical laboratory testing needs of Emory Healthcare. As the healthcare arm of Emory University, located in Atlanta, Georgia, Emory Healthcare is a premier academic medical center providing high quality training, research and clinical services.

AUTOCHECK provides quality control testing of sterilization equipment such as steam, chemical, dry and gas for hundreds of geographically-dispersed clients of various types.  We offer several testing service plans, designed to accommodate the various regulatory requirements for this testing as set forth by each State. Our dedicated staff provides the highest quality customer service and sterility monitoring for our clients' equipment.

To subscribe to our services, or for more information, contact us at: 1-800-727-6763 or in Atlanta at 404-686-2402

Download a pdf (88KB) of the Autocheck Order Form here.

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1Hastreiter RJ, Millnare JA, Falkner MC, Roesch MH, Gleason MJ, Merchanat VA. Effectivenss of Dental Office Instrument Sterilization Procedures. JADA, Vol. 122, 1991.