Disinfection and sterilization

Exposures to germs on medical instruments and surfaces in healthcare settings can lead to illness in both patients and healthcare professionals. Appropriate disinfection and sterilization practices can help prevent healthcare-associated infections. This page contains disinfection and sterilization infection prevention resources and education for both healthcare professionals and consumers.

The following links are APIC resources on disinfection and sterilization for healthcare professionals.

Position statements and key messages

  • Reprocessing surgical instruments (2012)
    • In response to national media attention on the inadequate reprocessing of some surgical instruments, APIC offers general background information and practice recommendations for infection preventionists whose roles include sterile processing coordination/consultation.
  • Immediate-use steam sterilization (2011)
    • “Flash sterilization” has traditionally been used to describe steam sterilization cycles in which unwrapped medical instruments are subjected to abbreviated steam exposure then used promptly after cycle completion, without being stored. The term “immediate-use steam sterilization” more accurately reflects the current process, which this paper describes.

Implementation guides and tools

Education & training

APIC offers a comprehensive collection of clinical education and professional development programs. The following resources are educational opportunities related to disinfection and sterilization.

Visit the Education & Certification page for more educational opportunities.

AJIC articles

Search the American Journal of Infection Control website for more articles on disinfection and sterilization. To access these articles, you need to first login to the APIC website.

External resources

Federal agencies

 Associations and other


The following links are APIC and external resources on disinfection and sterilization and infection prevention for consumers.


External resources