Finding an infection control solution that suits you

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  Posted by: The Probe      11th July 2020

Much like every patient, every practice is different and will have its own budget, space restrictions and needs that dictate what sort of equipment it purchases.

Although infection control is a universal standard that all practices must follow, there are still a variety of products and systems available that will suit some practices more than others. So how do you make a selection that benefits you most?

Consider the size of your practice

This may sound like simple advice, but it is incredibly important to evaluate the size of your practice both physically, and in terms of patient footfall. Building sizes can be restrictive, and if your decontamination room is limited in space, purchasing a smaller autoclave is likely to be a better option. However, if you experience a high patient footfall and find that your staff are having to operate your autoclave regularly, this could be impractical. Therefore, a larger system may be a better choice, assuming you can rearrange the existing space to fit it in.

Guiding your decision to suit these parameters is important, as buying the wrong type of autoclave or washer disinfector for your practice can easily lead to a number of problems. For example, if you are having a busy day and the autoclave cycles aren’t keeping up, you may experience delays in patient treatment. This could cause inconveniences and ultimately a loss of trust if patients are then having to wait too long for their appointment.

Energy efficiency and environmental concerns

As we move towards a greener, more eco-friendly approach to dentistry, we need to consider the energy equipment uses in practices. This rings true for autoclaves and sterilisers too.

Indeed, a smaller autoclave may use less energy than a larger one – but if you are having to run it more often it may result in higher energy consumption and bills regardless. Therefore, you need to look at the way your practice operates and choose solutions that allow you to take the greenest approach possible.

Budgeting appropriately

Effective budgeting is actually more complex than it seems. If you choose a system that is on the lower end of your budget, there’s every chance that it may not have some of the features that make more expensive models more versatile, predictable and efficient. Of course, you can’t exceed your original funds set aside for the purchase of new equipment – but it’s important to see what you are getting in return for your financial output.

For example, say that you are torn between two autoclaves – one that is cheaper but without any features, and one that is more expensive but comes with a much better warranty and unique features. Although it’s tempting to go for the cheaper option, the latter system may actually be more cost-effective in the long run, especially if it is likely to have a longer lifespan due to the included maintenance. The latter system could also save you time and money in other ways if it is more efficient – these are the things you have to weigh up in order to ensure you’re choosing a system that’s right for your budget.

 Appropriate cover

The warranty that comes with a product is another thing you should be looking out for when making a significant purchase like an autoclave. Nearly all of these systems will have warranties, but it’s important to look at the finer details of these to ensure that you’re being offered the best protection.

Typically, some warranties may only be a year or two long and then you will have to search for further protection, which can make a bargain become a burden. In light of this, it’s a good idea to seek systems from manufacturers who provide their own breakdown cover/maintenance even after the warranty is over.

So, bearing all of this in mind – where do you begin? Eschmann offers a comprehensive range of autoclaves and other infection control essentials that are suitable for all practice sizes and budgets. For example, its Little Sister 3000B is a safe, affordable option that helps to guarantee exceptional infection control through unique features such as its post sterilisation air detection system. For those looking for a non-vacuum model, the Little Sister SES 2020N is a recommended option. This system has rapid cycles with drying to ensure sterile, dry instruments are ready for immediate use or packaging. With the addition of the optional wireless Autolog, your daily and weekly validation tests can also be fully automated, helping to ensure absolute compliance.

The choice is yours

At the end of the day, choosing an autoclave is a big investment, and one that is essential to get right for the good of your practice. By exploring all the available options and considering how these systems will operate in your practice not only now, but also in the long run, you can make a well-informed choice.

 

For more information on the highly effective and affordable range of decontamination equipment and products from Eschmann, please visit www.eschmann.co.uk or call 01903 875787


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