Volume 11 | No. 1 | January / February 2023 query_builder 2 minutes

POMDRA second cycle assessments

Physician Office Medical Device Reprocessing Assessements update


The Physician Office Medical Device Reprocessing Assessments (POMDRA) is conducting second cycle assessments of offices previously assessed. Prior to a second cycle assessment, registrants and their staff are encouraged to review information and resources about POMDRA available on the College website.  

Registrants should also review their reprocessing practices for these common reprocessing deficiencies:

  1. Lack of staff training. All clinic staff who reprocess medical devices must have specific training. Online courses are listed on the College website. Written policies and procedures for reprocessing must be specific to the clinic and available to all staff. Clearly written instructions for all steps of reprocessing ensures continuity with new staff members.
  2.  Reuse of disposable devices. Clinics must have manufacturer instructions for devices used. These instructions must state that a device can be reprocessed and how it must be reprocessed. Skin staple removers, both metal and plastic, are often inappropriately reused. Skin staple removers and other disposable devices do not have these instructions and must not be reused.
  3.  Sterilizing gauze and other consumable items. Manufacturer instructions must be obtained for any item that is sterilized in a clinic. Gauze, cotton balls, cotton tip applicators, and similar items cannot be effectively sterilized in steam. Manufacturers of sterile gauze and similar items do not use steam to sterilize these items. If gauze, cotton balls, or similar items are processed in steam, they are not considered to be sterile. 
  4. Biological indicator (BI) testing and chemical indicator monitoring not done. BI tests must be used in the sterilizer once each day when the sterilizer is used. Internal chemical indicator strips must be used in each package sterilized. Review the video on how to use a biological indicator test.
  5. Wrong detergent for cleaning medical devices. Medical grade detergents must be used for cleaning medical devices. Hand or dish soaps are not appropriate, as oils from these soaps can remain on medical devices and interfere with sterilization.  
  6. Regular care of licensed steam sterilizers. Only steam sterilizers licenced for sale in Canada can be used. Steam sterilizers over 10 years old must be regularly serviced by a qualified technician. 
  7. No documentation for quality assurance. All loads/cycles done in a steam sterilizer must be documented according to current standards. Sample sterilization records and information on sterilization failure are available on the POMDRA section of the College website. 

For more information on registrant eligibility for POMDRA and how a clinic can meet current reprocessing standards, contact the team at pomdra@cpsbc.ca.