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Pachymeter Disinfection

Quick Guide to Pachymeter Disinfection, Cleaning, and Sterilization Best Practices

As an eye care professional, you have a tremendous level of commitment to keeping your patients, yourself, and staff safe from infectious diseases by utilizing the best practices for  pachymeter disinfection and other equipment. Let's take a quick look at a few best practices for pachymeter disinfection, cleaning, and sterilization.

Pachymeter & General Equipment Cleaning, Disinfecting, and Sterilizing

In general, all eye care professionals and staff should be very familiar with three terms used to proactively execute infection control on optometry exam room equipment and operating room accessories and equipment:

  1. Cleaning is a relatively general term that explains whenever you remove foreign materials with water, detergents, or enzymatic measures. Cleaning is a key protective measure against infectious organisms caused by tissue, mucus, dried tears, or cosmetics. When you're cleaning, you will scrub all surfaces to remove debris. It's important to only clean equipment with a cleaning agent compatible with the surface.

  2. Disinfection is the process of inactivating all pathogenic microbes, but disinfection doesn't deactivate all microorganisms. For example, disinfection techniques typically do not work well for bacterial endospores, fungi, and protozoa. The majority of all medical clinics and eye care practices achieve disinfection by methods of water and heat or chemicals.

  3. Sterilization is a process of removing all and every microorganism, including bacterial spores. In many instances, sterilization includes autoclaving, which exposes instruments to high temperature and high pressure.

Pachymeter Cleaning Best Practices

To ensure your PachPen Handheld Pachymeter or AccuPach VI Pachymeter continues to perform as intended, make sure to keep the surfaces free of dirt and dust. When you're not using the device, make sure to store it in a cool and dry place to avoid adversely affecting any of its sensitive electronic parts. While no specific cleaning interval is recommended, you should clean as needed and follow with a disinfection.

Whenever your PachPen needs to be cleaned, do so by using only a soft, damp, lint-free cloth. Never spray liquids or cleaners onto your unit, and you should avoid pouring liquids onto your PachPen at anytime. If necessary, the lint-free, damp cloth may contain a mild soap.

Pachymeter Disinfection Best Practices

When it comes to pachymeter disinfection and cleaning, you'll only disinfect parts that contact the patient's eye prior to each use on a patient. The proper pachymeter disinfection process is to gently wipe the tip of the probe with isopropyl alcohol.

You should not use any other substance to disinfect your pachymeter. Once you wipe the tip with alcohol, make sure you allow the alcohol time to evaporate before you attempt to apply a pachymeter probe to your patient's eye. However, you should never immerse your entire PachPen in any liquid.

Pachymeter Sterilization Best Practices & Procedures

The tip of your PachPen should be sterilized and/or disinfected prior to use on each patient. The recommended sterilization technique is to immerse the probe tip — and only the probe tip — into an approve antibacterial solution. Never immerse your complete device into any liquid and always let it dry completely prior to use.  

Never Autoclave to Sterilize Your PachPen Pachymeter

An autoclave is a pressurized chamber used to eradicate biohazardous waste from the surface of instruments or tools. Autoclaves disinfect and sterilize through the process of using temperature, pressure, and steam. These devices are often referred to as steam sterilization machines. Never use an autoclave to sterilize your PachPen Pachymeter.  

Establish Written Protocols for Pachymeter Disinfection & Other Equipment

All facilities should have written and circulated protocols for pachymeter disinfection and sterilization. These policies and procedures should be primarily based on industry guidelines and standards with input from the medial staff in the office.

These cleaning, disinfection and sterilization measures should be regularly reviewed at least once a year and updated anytime new instruments are introduced into the facility. All procedures and policies should be approved by management, which should include a MD eye practitioner.

Train Employees on How to Properly Disinfect, Clean, and Sterilize Equipment

All personnel of your practice should be effectively trained in the best practices for pachymeter cleaning, handling, sterilizing, and disinfecting as well as for other exam and/or surgical ophthalmic instruments. Staff training and education should be documented and updated at a minimum of once a year or anytime you introduce new equipment into the practice. It's always a good practice to make a habit of cleaning any additional equipment and pachymeter accessories, such as keyboards and/or power cords.

Contact Keeler Ophthalmic Instruments

For more than 100 years, Keeler has been the leader providing world-class optometric equipment. We offer a range of different types of pachymetry devices and other ophthalmic instruments designed to meet your needs and exceed your expectations.

Contact Keeler Ophthalmic Instruments today.

About the Author Eugene VanArsdale

Eugene is the Director of Marketing Communications at Keeler Instruments. He has been with Keeler since 1982 and is co-holder of two patents for the company. Eugene has a true passion for the eye care industry and has dedicated himself to understanding the ins and outs of the optometric and ophthalmic equipment market.