3 ways electronic records and a data logger can help monitor sterilization at your practice.

October 27, 2020

Effortlessly maintain compliance with electronic records that can be collected, transferred and organized as desired. By simply adding a data logger or a printer to an existing sterilizer, a practice now has automated records of sterilizer performance.

Benefits

  1.  Immunity to staff turnover. Data is collected automatically, and the practice is not dependent on one person to log and track. Imagine that the team member who has been recording sterilizer monitoring data manually leaves the practice. One year later an audit takes place, and no one is familiar with the past year’s process. In a time where dentists are experiencing more turnover than the norm, electronic records offer instant security.
  2.  Ease of training new staff members. An automatic data logger or printer on the sterilizer eliminates time spent on learning the processes, signing logs, keeping track of notebooks and lists.
  3. Efficiency of analytics. Usable data is captured automatically and can be more easily organized and analyzed. Traceability is also maintained with user identification and acceptance incorporated as a part of the record.

In the U.S. no regulation stipulates paper or electronic records for regulatory purposes. Both are acceptable, so ultimately the choice belongs to the dentist.

You’ve decided a data logger is right for the practice. Now what?

In the decade since data loggers entered the market, the improvement in the technology and ease of implementation is significant. The evolution: capable basic models shift to printers and data loggers that feature USB ports and wireless options. The data capture device becomes less of an accessory and more of a necessity.

As the data collection device capabilities increase, the training required to use it is affected conversely. There is little for an operator to do, and for someone even slightly savvy with technology, it’s a 5-minute fait accompli. When the sterilization cycle ends, an operator either accepts or rejects the load, then confirms that with an identifier programmed into data logger.

Data is stored as a simple PDF file .The PDF files are organized simply by sterilizer serial number, month, day and cycle. If an auditor arrives requesting records for sterilization, pinpointing numbers – whether from six months ago or last Tuesday — takes just a few minutes.

They’ve got your back

The Sterilizer Data Logger from Midmark includes both a memory card and USB stick, for backup in two locations. If the memory stick is lost or damaged, the data is contained on the memory card and can be transferred easily to a new USB stick. If the USB port is damaged, Midmark is able to recover data from an internal memory card, provided its intact.

The recently introduced Sterilizer Data Logger also provides electronic signature authorization and records acceptance of the sterilization cycle by the user.

Midmark created a data logger device compatible with their new sterilizers which also offers backward compatibility to the tens of thousands of their older sterilizer models, as well.

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