Latest Edition: ANSI/AAMI ST79:2017 with Amendments A1:2020, A2:2020, A3:2020, A4:2020

AAMI has released four amendments to ANSI/AAMI ST79, Comprehensive guide to steam sterilization and sterility assurance in health care facilities, offering users new clarity and fresh guidance to maintain patient safety and stay in compliance with accrediting bodies.


ANSI/AAMI ST79 provides comprehensive guidance for healthcare personnel who use steam for sterilization, regardless of the size of the sterilizer or the type of facility. This includes hospitals, ambulatory surgery facilities, physician offices, cardiac catheterization laboratories, endoscopy suites, radiology departments, and dental offices. It remains a "go-to" document for The Joint Commission.

In 2017, ST79 was revised from its 2010 version to provide flexible guidance for this wide variety of users while also providing new strategies for assuring the safety of sterilization professionals. After three years of collecting feedback, the working group’s efforts culminated in ANSI/AAMI ST79:2017’s four 2020 amendments.

What’s new?

Recommendations and clarifications were added for maintaining the integrity of the Sterile Processing area. This includes even “common sense” additions, such as stipulating that there should be no food or drink in the area. Other amendments were made to best practices, such as how often sterilizers in healthcare facilities should be cleaned. The working group also built upon recommendations for the instrument inspection process, recognizing that relatively new technologies—such as borescopes and Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) monitoring—that enable more thorough inspections and recordkeeping.