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Industry Terminology

Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene is a general term in reference to the action of hand washing or hand cleansing. This can be done through the application of washing hands with water using a medicated or non-medicated soap in the form of a cube or soap solution (liquid or foam) and hand cleansing using an alcohol-based hand rub onto the hands in the form or a liquid, gel for foam, when hands are visibly clean or not visibly soiled.

Environmental Hygiene

Environmental hygiene in healthcare is the term for effective cleaning of hard surfaces in healthcare settings via the use of appropriate products for cleaning or cleaning and disinfection. This can be done through forms of liquids, impregnated wipes or diluted liquid solutions.


An Endoscopy is a medical procedure to look inside the body to examine a hollow organ or cavity of the body, using a camera called an Endoscope.


An integrated place in hospitals and other health care facilities that performs cleaning, disinfection and sterilisation and other actions on reusable medical devices, equipment and consumables; for subsequent use by health workers in the operating theatre of the hospital and also for other aseptic procedures, eg. catheterization, wound stitching and bandaging in a medical, surgical, maternity or paediatric ward. The operations usually consist of cleaning of previously used devices, like stainless steel tools and instruments, with a disinfecting liquid. After drying the device in a machine and/or specialized cabinet (not by hand or cloth) it gets wrapped in a specialised paper and/or bag (called an aseptor bag), tape-sealed and then sterilised by gas, plasma or in a steam autoclave, according to the prescripts in place at the facility.


Disinfectants are substances that are applied to non-living objects to destroy microorganisms that are living on the objects. Disinfection does not necessarily kill all microorganisms, especially resistant bacterial spores; it is less effective than sterilisation, which is an extreme physical and/or chemical process that kills all types of life. Disinfectants are different from other antimicrobial agents such as antibiotics, which destroy microorganisms within the body, and antiseptics, which destroy microorganisms on living tissue. Disinfectants are also different from biocides — the latter are intended to destroy all forms of life, not just microorganisms. Disinfectants work by destroying the cell wall of microbes or interfering with the metabolism. Disinfection is achieved both chemically and thermally.


Sterilization is a process that destroys or removes all forms of microbial life including bacterial spores. Sterilisation can be achieved using a range physical or chemical methods. Gamma irradiation, steam under pressure, dry heat, Ethylene oxide gas, hydrogen peroxide gas plasma, and various chemicals agents such as peracetic acid.

Residential Aged Care

Residential aged care is a living facility for seniors who can no longer live in their own home. The facility provides accommodation and personal care 24 hours a day, with access to nursing and general health care facilities.


Dentistry or dental care provides professional care for your teeth, oral health and mouth hygiene through treatment at a Dental Clinic or Dental Surgery.

Life Science

Life Science is the practice of any science that deals with living organisms and the study of their life process and their interrelationships, as biology, medicine or ecology.

Ductless Fume Cabinet

Mainly for educational or testing use, these units generally have a fan mounted on the top (soffit) of the hood, or beneath the worktop. Air is sucked through the front opening of the hood and through a filter, before passing through the fan and being fed back into the workplace. With a ductless fumehood it is essential that the filter medium be able to remove the particular hazardous or noxious material being used. As different filters are required for different materials, recirculating fume hoods should only be used when the hazard is well known and does not change.

Biosafety Cabinet

A biosafety cabinet (BSC) — also called biological safety cabinet or microbiological safety cabinet — is an enclosed, ventilated laboratory workspace for safely working with materials contaminated with (or potentially contaminated with) pathogens requiring a defined biosafety level. Several different types of BSC exist, differentiated by the degree of biocontainment required.

HEPA Filter

High-efficiency particulate air or HEPA is a type of air filter. Filters meeting the HEPA standard have many applications, including use in medical facilities, automobiles, aircraft, and homes. A filter that is qualified as HEPA is also subject to interior classifications.

Activated Carbon Filter

Carbon filtering is a method of filtering that uses a bed of activated carbon to remove contaminants and impurities, using chemical adsorption. Each particle/granule of carbon provides a large surface area/pore structure, allowing contaminants the maximum possible exposure to the active sites within the filter media. One pound (450 g) of activated carbon contains a surface area of approximately 100 acres (40 Hectares). Activated carbon works via a process called adsorption, whereby pollutant molecules in the fluid to be treated are trapped inside the pore structure of the carbon substrate. Carbon filtering is commonly used for water purification, in air purifiers and industrial gas processing, for example the removal of siloxanes and hydrogen sulfide from biogas. It is also used in a number of other applications, including respirator masks, the purification of sugarcane and in the recovery of precious metals, especially gold.

Laboratory Autoclave

An autoclave is a device used to sterilise equipment and supplies by subjecting them to high pressure saturated steam at 121°C for around 15–20 minutes depending on the size of the load and the contents. It was invented by Charles Chamberland in 1879, although a precursor known as the steam digester was created by Denis Papin in 1679. The name comes from Greek auto-, ultimately meaning self, and Latin clavis meaning key—a self-locking device.


ABHR – Alcohol Based Hand Rub
ACIPC – Australian College of Infection Prevention and Control
ACORN – Australian College of Perioperative Nurses
ACSQHC – Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare
AER – Automated Endoscope Reprocessor
ARTG – Australia Register of Therapeutic Goods
BI – Biological Indicators
CDC – Centre for Disease Control
CE – European Conformity
CI – Chemical Indicator
Covid-19 – Coronavirus Disease
CSD – Central Sterile Department
DFU – Directions for Use
DSC – Drying Storage Cabinet
ED – Emergency Department
EH – Environmental Hygiene
EN – European Norm
EtO or EO – Ethylene Oxide
FSRACA – Federal Sterilising Research Advisory Council Australia
GENCA – Gastroenterological Nurses College of Australia
HAI – Hospital Acquired Infection
HAP – Hospital Associated Pathogen
HFTP – High Frequency Touch Points
HGD – Hospital Grade Disinfectant
HH – Hand Hygiene
HHA – Hand Hygiene Australia
HLD – High Level Disinfection
HSD – Health Service District
HSO – Health Service Organisation
HTO – High Touch Points
H2O2 – Hydrogen Peroxide
ICU – Intensive Care Units
IFU – Instruments (Instructions) for Use
ISO – International Standards Organisation
LHD – Local Health District
MRSA – Staphylococcus Aureus (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus)
NHMRC – National Health & Medical Research Council
NZSSA – New Zealand Sterile Sciences Association
OQ – Operational Qualification’
PAA – Peracetic Acid
PCD – Process Challenge Device
PPE – Personal Protective Equipment
PQ – Performance Qualification
RMD – Reusable Medical Device
RTU – Ready to Use
SAL – Sterile Assurance Level
SBS – Sterile Barrier System
SDS – Safety Data Sheet
SRACA – Sterilising Research Advisory Council Australia
SSD – Sterilising Services Department
TGA – Therapeutic Goods Administration
UVL – Ultraviolet Light
UVM – Ultraviolet Marker
VRE – Eterococcus Faecalis (Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci)
WD – Washer Disinfector
WHO – World Health Organisation