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Biological Indicators

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Science of BI's
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Science of BI's
The Science of Biological Indicators (BIs)

To review the Science of Biological Indicators (BI)s, please download the file provided below.

Why do you monitor the steam sterilization process?
To improve patient outcomes.

The objectives of sterile processing and your customers' expectations?
To provide sterile, functional and complete devices and instrument sets, on-time for patient use.

Sterility is a probability.
One of the primary functions of the sterilization process is to ensure sterility. You want to be confident that the items being used on patients are free from microorganisms.

How do you know you're killing organisms?
There are three universally accepted methods of monitoring sterilization: with physical monitors and chemical and biological indicators. And all three have their advantages and limitations. Biological indicators provide the only direct measure of the lethality of a sterilization cycle because they contain living, or viable, microorganisms. Biological indicators contain > 100,000 spores/strip of a highly resistant organism. A negative biological indicator result demonstrates the lethality of a sterilization cycle.

When should you monitor?
A Comprehensive Sterility Assurance program includes the use of physical monitors and chemical and biological indicators for 'load release'. Patient Safety: Cleaning/decontamination, along with a biological indicator in every load will provide you with the highest probability of assurance that you're killing the bioburden on all the items in the load.

Following best practices ensures that your department is doing everything possible to promote continuous quality improvement in an effort to achieve improved patient outcomes.

(PDF, 1.2MB)