What We Do

What Is Sterilizer Monitoring?

Biological monitoring of sterilizer function depends on the sterilizer killing the test organism.  Because bacterial spores are the most resistant form of bacteria, spores have been the most common test material.  The test strips supplied by the Sterilizer Monitoring Service are imbedded with spores of two species of bacteria; Geobacillus stearothermophis and Bacillus atrophaeus.  Why use two species? Bacillus atrophaeus spores are notoriously resistant to heat, making them perfect for testing heat only sterilizers like ovens.  Geobacillus stearothermophis is a thermophilic bacteria, original isolates in the thermal pools of Yellowstone.  They are cultured at 55 C°, too hot for almost every other bacterial species.  This reduces the chance of a false positive result to essentially zero.  G. stearothermophis is the test species for steam and chemical sterilizer units.

Your records are stored in an encrypted data base on site.  If you need a copy of your record for a specific period, just call us but your email record of results is satisfactory for verification of compliance.  In December, you will receive a hard copy of the past years record, along with your certificate of participation in the monitoring service. 

How Does The Sterilizer Monitoring Service Work?

New clients should register with us by phone at  503-494-4641. You will be asked to provide information about your office and the type and number of sterilizers you use. Each sterilizer is assigned a unique identifying number in our database. You will receive packets of test strips and sheets of barcodes for each sterilizer. Simply add the test strip to a load and sterilize as usual. Place the barcode on the sterilized test strip and mail it to us. That’s it!  Once you are a registered client, all you have to do to get more test strips is send us a test strip order form  by mail or fax and we will send you a new supply.

Because of the special culture process developed by the SMS, we will have your results within 24 hours of the strip getting to us.  You will receive an email with the test results.  If the test is not sterile, you will also get a phone call from us to ensure the most rapid retesting possible.

Water Line Testing

In addition to sterilizer testing, SMS also does water line testing.


Duration of Monitoring
52 weeks of monitoring
12 months of monitoring