by Dr Peter Chitty, North Shore Veterinary Specialist Centre, Artarmon, NSW
In the process of building a new specialist facility, we purchased this DGM washer disinfector. Even though our disinfection rates were very high, this unit has increased them even further. It has also freed up staff from manually cleaning instruments so they can attend to other duties in the practice.
What’s good about it
Being a specialist centre, we have some very delicate instruments and this washer helps to preserve them. It has improved the level of quality of cleaning and there are products available that help remove organic material. There’s also the intangible benefit that we have lifted our game and this instils a sense of pride in the staff. We are aspiring to be at human hospital levels of sterilisation now.
The unit looks a bit like a washing machine but it uses RO water to clean the instrumentation. After the cycle is complete, the instruments are dry and can be repacked straight away. It has significantly sped up the process of repacking equipment.
We did a lot of training with the unit but on the whole, it’s pretty easy to operate. The staff like it, it’s improved the efficiency of the practice and so far, we’ve had no issues with ongoing stability problems.
What’s not so good
It’s a big bit of equipment so you do need to have space in the hospital to position it. It also has siting requirements so you do need to plan in order to integrate it into the room. A relatively large practice could warrant the expense of purchase but it may be too much for a smaller practice.