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Webinar Addresses Principles of Reprocessing

The recent OR Today webinar “Understanding the Principles of Reprocessing” was sponsored by Advanced Sterilization Products (ASP) and eligible for 1 CE credit. OR Today is approved and licensed to be a Continuing Education Provider with the California Board of Registered Nurses, License #16623

In this 60-minute webinar, ASP Senior Clinical Education Consultant Nancy Fellows discussed best practices aligned with terminal sterilization of surgical and medical instrumentation, reviewed the current and existing position of Spaulding classification and identified current sterilization modalities available in the health care environment.

The webinar recorded 368 registrations with 165 health care professionals attending the live presentation. A recording of the webinar is available for on-demand viewing at

After her presentations, Fellows took questions during a live question-and-answer session. The result was additional expert insights that webinar attendees can take to their workplace and implement proven practices.

One question was, “What is the difference between a biological indicator (BI) and process challenge device (PCD)?”

Fellows said that a biological is probably the most important sterilization monitor used for sterilization today. She then expanded on her answer.

“BI’s are the only sterilization monitoring device that provides a direct measure of lethality or killing of spores or other micro-organisms during the process,” Fellows said. “AAMI’s Standard 79.”

She explained that AAMI is the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation.

“AAMI Standard 79 which is associated with steam sterilization, indicates a BI should be used with a PCD for routine sterilizer efficacy monitoring at least once a week, but preferably daily. So, they speak to steam sterilization and preferably stands out. But a process challenged devised or PCD contains a BI and a chemical indicator incorporated into a challenged presentation,” Fellows added. “A PCD is used to assess the effective performance of the sterilization process by providing a challenge to the process that is equal or greater than the challenge posed by the most difficult item in the load. And, I know I mentioned in the presentation, that is particularly important because not all loads that we run in our departments are the same over and over again.”

“Some cycles have light instrumentation, and others may be heavier in the chamber. Some items are just as simple, a non-critical device, where others are delicate and complicated,” she continued. “But AAMI Standard 58 states a PCD, should be used daily, but preferably in every sterilization cycle.”

Fellows also answered questions about the Spaulding classification, HLD and more.

Attendees provided positive feedback regarding the webinar in a survey that also asked for feedback regarding the 2021 OR Today webinar series. All of the 2021 webinars are available for on-demand viewing at

Several attendees praised OR Today and the webinar series.

“The webinars from OR Today are extremely timely and valuable in today’s health care environment,” Infection Preventionist B. Walters said.

“Excellent presentation of the various methods of sterilization and how they should be used. Would be excellent information and review for anyone working in OR or the reprocessing area,” Outpatient Surgery OR Unit Coordinator G. Lowrance said.

“This webinar on the principles of reprocessing was presented in an interesting and informative format that included a plethora of valuable information relevant to the principles involved with reprocessing reusable patient devices,” said RMD Coordinator B. Bedingfield, RN.

For more information, including when the next webinar will be presented, visit



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