In recent years, there has been a shift in the gravity of importance in decontamination of surgical instruments towards physical removal of contamination – i.e. cleaning. On top of that, cleaning verification looks towards the assessment of the result rather than the process itself (the author wrote about this unfulfilled need in ‘Process versus the result’ in February-April 2014, Vol. 18, No.3 release of the Journal). This shift in focus still leaves a lot of ambiguity about the methods involved, and leaves sterile services professionals with almost as many questions as answers. That is mostly due to the emphasis on protein detection in the guidance but not the overall methodology of verification, optimisation and monitoring of cleaning process effectiveness.
A Process Challenge Device (PCD) is a device used to assess the effective performance of a process by providing a challenge to the process that is equal to, or greater than, the challenge posed by