"Promoting the Science of Sterilisation"


gke Patient Tracing - A Manual System: Cycle Records (documentation sheets) Applicator Guns and Piggy Back Labels with Process Indicators. Patient Tracing gives the added advantage of permanent proof that any packs (instruments, solid, hollow, handpieces etc) used in a Surgical Procedure have been through a sterilisation process. Patient Tracing is a label that has a Process Indicator and can be removed from the surgical pack and placed onto the patient notes for possible reference if required in the future. It conforms with Australian/New Zealand Standards AS/NZ 4817, AS/NZ 4185 and can link to written documentation for all items in each batch/load processed by the Sterilising Department.

The necessity for simplicity

A manual system must be kept simple - if unnecessary written paperwork is involved, it will greatly increase the possibility of human error.

gke Labelling Gun

labelleling gun

gke Documentation Labels


Importance of documentation labels

Product Identification and traceability includes sterilising cycle records "documentation" reference AS/NZ 4187 (2003) page 63,

Written documentation and batch labeling alone is not enough.

Download PDF on Steam-ETO-Sterris Patient Tracing System

Download PDF on new Sterrad label for Patient Tracing

Download PDF to see more information on new Sterrad label

Download PDF for more information on Traceability

Written documentation or recording of a sterilisers batch/load contents in the Central Sterilisation Department (CSD) merely indicates what surgical packs were proposed for that load.

The indicator tape used externally on surgical packs is to alert any healthcare worker that a surgical pack has or has not been through a sterilisation process - the tape and internal indicators are discarded on opening of the pack.

Therefore there is no permanent proof that the pack actually did go through the sterilisation process.
Tracing to the patient requires a piggy back label with a steam process indicator that can be transferred from the surgical pack to the patients notes providing proof of the process if required in the future.


  • Steam Process Indicators provide a distinctive colour change eg unprocessed blue and processed brown
  • Sterrad Process Indicators provide a distinctive colour change eg unprocessed navy blue and processed purple
  • Ethylene Oxide Process Indicators provide a distinctive colour change eg unprocessed red and processed green
  • Steriliser number and Batch number
  • Date of sterilisation
  • Alpha/numeric line for (1) pack identification (2) steriliser identification (eg steam or sterrad) and (3) CSSD staff identification
  • Piggy back label which is able to be placed in the patient's notes
For more information on our Recording/Documentation sheets please see our "Technical" page.

** It is important to note that all government and non-government healthcare facilities are accountable and can be held liable for negligence as a result of human error. In today's environment patients are a lot more aware of their rights and litigation is now a major concern to all health care facilities.