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Infection prevention and control guidelines

10. Reprocessing reusable medical devices

Offsite sterilisation services

      1. Offsite sterilisation services

Last revised: 18 Aug 2023

Offsite sterilisation services

Given the expense of purchasing and running a steriliser, practices may consider offsite sterilisation (a commercial sterilisation service or another accredited practice, hospital or healthcare provider) or using disposable single-use equipment.

When using an off-site sterilisation service, the practice must have evidence that it complies with the current relevant standard(s).

It is strongly recommended that there is a clear and precise documented contract outlining:

  • the scope of the service
  • who is responsible for pre-treatment, cleaning, packing and sterilisation of reusable medical devices
  • processes for safe transportation of reusable medical devices between facilities
  • the traceability/tracking system.

Note: As the turnaround time for the reprocessing of equipment may be slower when performed offsite, more sets of reusable medical devices may be required. The actual number of sets required depends on usage patterns and turnaround time.