January 2013, Volume 34, Issue 1
Published by AEGIS Communications
Array of Crosstex Products Helping Clinicians Maintain Sterility Standards
Most clinicians would agree that preventive dentistry should go beyond simply screening patients for disease, but should be an all-encompassing mindset of the entire dental team. One of many measures clinicians take to prevent the spread of diseases is to keep their office, including their dental instruments, clean and sterile. Crosstex International, a company dedicated to infection prevention in the dental office, has recently acquired SPSmedical Supply Corporation, forming a partnership that the companies say will result in more dental offices having the information, as well as the products, necessary to adhere to sterility protocols.
Chuck Hughes, VP, Infection Prevention and Consulting Services at Cantel Medical, says, “The Crosstex and SPSmedical product offering is unique in that they have pioneered sterility products while improving procedures. The Sure-Check sterilization pouch with built-in external and internal multi-variable indicators, the SteamPlus Class 5 chemical indicator for use with all steam sterilization cycles, the ConFirm and PassPort mail-in sterilizer monitoring systems, and the ConFirm 10 in-office biological monitoring system are all products that help the clinician ensure that their equipment and instruments meet CDC sterility standards.”
Sterility in the dental office is not a one-step process, advises Leann Keefer, RDH, MSM, General Manager and Director of Education at Crosstex. She explains that sterility assurance is a multi-step practice and involves three different levels of monitoring. “The clinician must not only consider biological monitoring, but also physical and chemical monitoring,” Keefer says. “Clinicians must understand how these three processes work together to provide the highest level of sterility assurance. Sterility assurance is a mindset that begins with the whole process of treatment. One of my favorite phrases is, ‘You can’t see sterile.’ You must use appropriate procedures to increase sterility assurance.”
Hughes points out that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guidelines for Infection Control in Dental Health Care Settings (2003), it is recommended that biological indicator monitoring of sterilizers should occur at least weekly and with every load that contains an implant. Moreover, the CDC Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities (2008) makes the same recommendation, but adds daily testing if a sterilizer is used frequently (ie, several loads per day).
It’s not just because of CDC guidelines that clinicians are concerned with sterility assurance, Hughes suggests; it is also important to the practice, as a business, that sterility is maintained. “When the dental team is able to provide the highest level of sterility assurance, patients not only take notice but are also put at ease. Patients benefit greatly by seeing clinicians properly use infection control products in compliance with infection prevention best practices. This builds trust, and patient trust ensures dental practice success,” Hughes explains.
Crosstex goes to great lengths to ensure that its products, which Keefer points out are US-made, offer the utmost in sterility assurance. But even the best products available, she suggests, must be accompanied by proper training. “Anyone can sell an infection control product. At Crosstex we are committed to making sure that we have educational resources available to our clinicians as they need them,” she says. Crosstex’s website, in particular, serves as a valuable resource to clinicians, offering a wealth of information regarding infection control and sterilization procedures. The company also has an 800 number, a clinical consultative service, and an educated sales team that is able to discuss the proper use of the company’s products.
“We also conduct webinars, write articles, and present programs at national, state, and local meetings on infection control, and Crosstex consults with a number of clinicians to make sure all of our information is up to date and accurate,” Keefer adds.
Keefer and Hughes both emphasize that infection control products are not just commodity products—they are science-based technological products that are constantly changing and improving. “New technologies on the horizon will focus on faster sterilization processes and more complex instrument design,” Hughes suggests. “I see dentistry moving away from gravity steam sterilizers and moving towards dynamic air-removal sterilizers, which are more efficient and will provide more effective sterilization and a faster turn-around time.”
Adds Keefer: “Keeping procedures simple and efficient leads to better compliance and gives clinicians better results. At Crosstex, we aspire to continue moving toward a simpler, more effective solution that will benefit not only our clinicians, but their patients as well.”
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