The design of your steri room is a big factor in ensuring a well-functioning dental clinic environment. Getting the layout right to facilitate an efficient workflow is key to effective infection control processes for your entire practice.
We take a look at a few of the key principles to design an efficient and effective steri room for your dental clinic.
Regulation of infection control procedures in the dental industry relates to compliance with AS/NZS 4187:2014. Therefore, dental practices must comply with the current Australian standards for the reprocessing of reusable medical devices.
The standards work to minimise the risk of spreading infectious diseases and relate to infection control protocols, equipment and practice environment. They can also impact the choices you can make in terms of cabinetry, lighting and plumbing in your steri room. So it’s important that your fitout company understands the relevant infection control standards in Australia to assist you with appropriate selections.
When planning your dental clinic fitout, make sure there is enough space for your steri room and its important functions. This is one of the busiest parts of your practice and requires space to allow for an efficient set-up.
You should factor in ample bench depth and width space to hold all essential equipment such as your autoclave. There should also be plenty of room to clean, inspect and store instruments. Your benchtop surface should be uncluttered and easy to clean to reduce the risk of cross contamination. Plenty of storage helps keep this area tidy and prevents the risk of overflow outside your sterilisation area.
Good ventilation and lighting throughout your steri room is essential. In particular you should have lighting that minimises shadows over your workbench. Ideally hand washing in the sterilisation area should not be undertaken in the same sinks used for instrument cleaning. Dedicated sinks should be used, preferably fitted with sensor taps.
If possible, your steri room should be centrally located within your practice, with easy access from all treatment rooms. Space permitting, incorporate two entrances into the area to minimise travel times and reduce potential bottlenecks. If that is not an option, make sure the doorway or passageway is wide enough to allow for staff members to pass each other comfortably.
Consider facilitating a clear workflow from “dirty to clean”. Your clean, contaminated and processing zones should also be separate. Each area should only used for its intended function. A distinct workflow will greatly simplify your infection control processes and prevent cross-contamination.
Infection control regulations for the dental industry do change, so it is imperative that the fitout company you appoint has significant experience in dental practice design.
Elite’s team of fitout specialists, designers and project managers have years of experience in dental practice design and operations, and have a thorough understanding of the necessary dental approvals and guidelines. Contact us today to discuss your dental practice fitout or refurbishment.