Hospital Decontamination & Sterilisation Solutions

Decontamination and Sterilization Solutions

Keep your surgical instruments sterile

Infection prevention programmes require thorough cleaning and sterilization of surgical instruments to make them safe to use. Healthcare and life science professionals worldwide trust 3M to help them monitor all stages of the sterilization process, including equipment, load, pack and exposure monitoring. Together with a comprehensive portfolio, education and training resources, 3M can help you to find the right decontamination solutions for your sterilization needs. Contact a specialist to find out more.

Together, we can reduce the risk of infection

  • 6.4

    6.4% of all UK patients have a Health Care Associated Infection (HCAI) at any one time1.

  • £1bn

    The UK National Audit Office reports that HCAIs cause at least 5000 deaths and cost the NHS at least £1bn annually.2

  • HAIs lead to 37,000 deaths

    A conservative estimate by the EU suggests that HAIs lead to 37,000 deaths and cost €5.48 billion each year, excluding productivity losses.3

Innovative decontamination & sterilization solutions

  • Cup

    For over 50 years, 3M has maintained a trusted reputation for creating innovative sterilization products. Our sterilization products and solutions help to improve the knowledge, professionalism and productivity of entire sterile processing departments.

    You'll be surprised what a difference 3M's approach, training and solutions could make to your hospital or life sciences facility, and we'll work with you to meet your needs, from the challenges of high-volume acute care facilities, to the special needs of outpatient surgery centers and primary care clinics.

Monitor sterilization effectiveness with 3M

  • Given the increased demand for quick turnarounds of processed items, sterile processing can be challenging, especially given as there can be no compromise when it comes to the adherence to standards, guidelines and recommended practices.


    1. Choice
      3M products cover every stage of the sterilization process
    2. Quality
      3M sterilization solutions adhere to internationally recognised standards
    3. Reliability
      Knowing that 3M's product readings are accurate and consistent gives you peace of mind
    4. Innovation
      3M understands your challenges and offers solutions to help you tackle them

    At 3M we put our leadership, sterilization products, services and education resources to work for you.

    Contact a specialist

Load Monitoring, Pack Monitoring, Exposure Monitoring, Record Keeping, Equipment Monitor

Best practices

  • Best Practices Diagram

    Key steps in the sterilization monitoring process

    The full sterilization monitoring process can be monitored using 3M's Sterilization Solutions to provide the highest level of reliability. Find out more about sterilization best practices below:

Steam penetration tests

  • Steam penetration tests are the original Bowie & Dick test pack, specified in the ISO 11140-3 and alternative penetration tests. These alternative tests have to fulfil the requirements in the ISO 11140-4 and are mostly equipped either with chemical indicators or with parametric indicators (UK). In Europe there is a tendency to use physical indicators, such as the 3M Electronic Test System (ETS).

    Each test has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, chemical indicators are easy to use, but if a problem is indicated, it's difficult to conclude what the problem might be. With a parametric penetration test, data can be made available for trouble shooting.

    Reminder: If your quality system is based on European norms, it might be necessary to perform an Air Leakage Test (ALT) periodically or even daily.

    Go to our Decontamination & Sterilization products to find out how our solutions can support your equipment monitoring processes.

    Find out how 3M can help you to comply with sterilization best practices at your facility.

    Contact a specialist

Use of indicators

  • A biological indicator detects the actual killing of microbial spores inside the sterilizer, whereas a chemical indicator (CI), only indicates that one or more of the critical parameters for achieving sterilization have been met.

    3M's new technology has improved readout timelines, with our BIs yielding faster results today than ever before, in just one hour. Because it's impractical to quarantine every load for several days or hours, as would be the case with conventional BIs, 3M recommends the use of 3M™ Attest™ Super Rapid Readout Biological Indicators and Test Packs, designed to give results in as little as one hour.

    Thanks to the reliability and the quality of the monitoring information received, regular use of a BI can contribute to an improved sterilization process and better patient outcomes.

    Find out how 3M can help you to comply with sterilization best practices at your facility.

    Contact a specialist

Sterilization Assurance: Guidance and Standards

Get access to 3M Health Care Academy’s exclusive e-learning court to help ensure compliance!


Contact 3M for a consultation

3M is dedicated to helping to ensure compliance in sterlization best practices, increasing safety and improving patient outcomes. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help your organisation.


    1. Health Protection Agency (2011) English National Point Prevalence Survey on Healthcare-Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Use, 2011
    2. National Patient Safety Agency: The Economic Case: Implementing near-patient alcohol handrub in your trust, 2004
    3. ECDC, Surveillance of surgical site infections in Europe, 2008-2009, Stockholm. ECDC, 2012.

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