Instrument Processing Area

DHCP should process all instruments in a designated central processing area to more easily control quality and ensure safety. Ideally the central processing area should be divided into sections for 1) receiving, cleaning, and decontamination; 2) preparation and packaging; 3) sterilization; and 4) storage. These areas should ideally be separated by wall or at least have adequate spaces between them.


1. Designate a central processing area. Divide the instrument processing area, physically or, at a minimum, spatially, into distinct areas for:
a. receiving, cleaning, and decontamination;
b. preparation and packaging;
c. sterilization;
d. storage. Do not store instruments in an area where contaminated instruments are held or cleaned.
2. Train DHCP to employ work practices that prevent contamination of clean areas.

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