Soap Opera Episode 3: How did we get here?

Missed signals, misunderstandings, and final resolutions

UnderstandMany misunderstandings aren’t planned or purposeful but are the result of intersecting plot lines that cause miscommunication and misalignment of purposes. When watching a soap opera, you are the viewer with 360° knowledge of the building conflict, but in our daily lives we’re often missing critical information we need to efficiently resolve issues. And that leads to confusion.

Unmask the real culprit

It often begins with assumptions, “The instruments aren’t clean when they come out of the washer. Help!” It may seem logical to increase the amount of detergent dispensed, and you may even clear the wash indicator which recently failed. However, you didn’t get to the root cause of the problem. You can see the cascade in action—maybe you’re abstract-blackboard-bulb-chalk-355948advised to increase the amount enzymatic cleaner too, or add a disinfectant, a sheeting agent, a lubricant, a neutralizer, a descaler. 

When the service technician came in, did they come and go without discussion? If the cycle settings were adjusted, it may affect everything downstream. Skip the rinse. A one-minute rinse is pre-set, better yet save some time with the 15 second rinse. And even better lower the temperature settings now and you do not have to wait for the water to heat up.  Reduce the dry time.  Dry the instruments on the clean side.  After all, we need these washers for quick turn-around. 

Does this sound familiar?

The final resolution

When you see scale, residue, or discoloration on your equipment or your devices, the last thing you want is to jump to conclusions. There may be a simple solution to the Soap Opera drama that may not be in the IFU but can lead to resolution. Use fewer and less Design from the bottom upchemicals. Design your process from the bottom up by selecting validated cleaners that are free rinsing and using the right concentration as stated on the label. Rinse more frequently and thoroughly after each step with high purity water. Utilize thermal disinfection for the final rinse and ensure that your devices look clean and go to the clean side dry.

The final resolution we are all looking for is instruments that are safe for patient care. If you need education, an assessment, or help solving a problem in your department, contact us at We are here to help.

U.S. EPA Safer ChoiceCase Medical is a three-time Safer Choice Partner of the Year, achieved top ranking in the Chemical Footprint Project, and is committed to infection prevention and best practices. Our products are designed to be safer for patients and staff and meet the US EPA standards for safety and sustainability.  Look for the Safer Choice label on all cleaning products.