Water quality is an important consideration in all stages of medical device reprocessing with the primary objective of ensuring that surgical instruments and medical equipment are properly cleaned, disinfected and sterilized.
Various minerals and contaminants commonly found in tap water can adversely affect this process in several ways:
- Instrument pitting/corrosion/staining
- Mineral scale build-up
- Reduced detergent performance
- Biofilm formation/increased microbial & endotoxin load
These issues can translate to costly rework, replacement costs, and increased risk such as:
- Repeat loads/cycles
- Reduced longevity of instruments and medical devices
- Reduced performance and longevity of reprocessing equipment
- Potential patient risk due to biofilm formation/microorganism entrapment in damaged instruments
Water Purity Requirements for Medical Device Reprocessing
To provide education and guidance to healthcare personnel, the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) publishes a comprehensive Technical Information Report (TIR) called TIR34 – Water for the Reprocessing of Medical Devices. This document offers guidelines on the quality of water that should be used in each stage of medical device reprocessing for each category of medical device. More specifically, AAMI TIR34: 2014/(R)2017 includes the following:
- Quality of water needed to appropriately clean, rinse, disinfect and sterilize medical devices
- Definition of water types based on hardness, pH, microorganism levels, endotoxin levels and other characteristics
- Annexes with technical details pertaining to water treatment and monitoring
With over 40 years of experience in healthcare water system design and service, Evoqua offers comprehensive solutions specifically designed to produce water that meets AAMI TIR34 Water Quality Specifications for Medical Device Reprocessing1.
Utilizing a combination of pretreatment, reverse osmosis, ion exchange, UV light and final filtration – coupled with digital remote monitoring – Evoqua’s Vantage® SPD systems deliver the quality and quantity of water you need to optimize your process, as well as the data reports2 to back it up. Vantage SPD systems allow your department to demonstrate that your water quality is consistent, and your water purification system is operating correctly.
For even more peace of mind, all Vantage SPD systems are available with Evoqua’s revolutionary Water One® services program. Evoqua’s Water One services allow customers to focus on their core business while Evoqua takes responsibility for the maintenance and performance of their water treatment system.
Benefits of Water One Services include:
- All-inclusive service, including consumables and replacement parts
- Reliable water quality and quantity to meet your application needs
- Maximum system uptime and operational efficiency
- Predictable budgeting with simple, flat-rate billing
- Monthly water system performance reports and access to real-time system monitoring
1 “Critical Water” quality as defined in AAMI TIR34:2014/(R)2017, Table 1 — Categories and Recommended Levels of Water Quality for Medical Device Reprocessing.
2 Data reports available when purchased in conjunction with Evoqua’s Water One services program.