Instrument Reprocessing Working Group
The Instrument Reprocessing Working Group (AKI) was first set up in 1976 in Germany. Since its inception, its members have devoted themselves to the collection and publication of expertise relating to the safety and value retention of the instruments used in human, dental and veterinary medicine.
To its 40-year existence in 2016 the AKI has published its anniversary brochure. This brochure, like its predecessors, presents the salient aspects of instrument reprocessing in simple, easy-to understand terms. This brochure does not profess to present a scientific approach to the subject but rather attempts to provide users with practical tips which are of benefit in their responsible work.
The international relevance of the AKI brochure is reflected in the fact that it has already been published in 20 languages with a total circulation of more than 400.000 copies worldwide and is valued in a large number of countries by machine users and trainers alike.
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Creation, consolidation and publication of expertise and know-how covering the development and production of medical products, washer-disinfectors, sterilisers, process chemicals and their interaction during reprocessing.
To this end, experts from a variety of disciplines such as chemists, microbiologists, material scientists, mechanical engineers, biomedical engineers, product managers, professors of biosciences and process technology, and service managers work closely together in a spirit of trust and cooperation spanning fields of knowledge and companies.
Compilation and publication of practical assistance in the form of scientific evidence and experience in the reprocessing of reusable medical products with a special focus on preventative measures to preserve the value of instruments.
Special attention is paid to providing tips and recommendations to users on the following subjects:
Procurement of new products (material compatibility in reprocessing)
Influences and consequences of reprocessing methods
How to deal with returns
Handling, reprocessing, inspection and maintenance of instruments
... with a view to the conservation of their value
As early as in 1979, AKI has published a brochure called "Proper Maintenance of Instruments" ("red brochure"). From the very beginning, the focus was on preserving the value of the instruments through appropriate handling and care. Taking the increasingly complex manual and machine processing of instruments into account, AKI has continuously published new releases to keep the guideline up to date (by now it is edition No. 11).
The specific needs of dental instruments and their special handling are described in a separate brochure "Instrument reprocessing in Dental Practices". Requirements of veterinaries are dealt with in the brochure called "Proper Maintenance of Instruments in Veterinary surgeries".
AKI intends to keep these brochures up to date in order to respond to the state of the art and to forward the know-how of AKI experts to users by lectures and workshops. AKI will continuously work on the research to gain further insight in the reasons of material alterations and damage and to derive preventive strategies from such insight which will be made available to users in extra publications.
The standardization of instrument reprocessing and the description of individual steps of processing are another important issue of AKI thereby developping "Good Instrument Reprocessing Practice" (e.g. by supporting the working group "Leitlinie zur Validierung von Aufbereitungsprozessen").
Users may visit the bulletin board of the AKI homepage for online-help on questions of their daily life in sterile processing.