Reminder: Have You Assessed Your Office Infection Control Practices Lately?

For all operating dental practices OSHA requires an annual assessment of infection prevention protocol to ensure the practice is meeting current regulations. This is a great reminder each year for a practice to take a step back from the well-controlled chaos of a busy dental office and ensure they’re doing all they can to keep patients safe.

After all, a one-time slip up of reusing a syringe on more than one patient or forgetting to offer a patient safety glasses could lead to serious consequences for both the patient’s health and your practice’s reputation. By consciously taking the time to assess your practice’s infection prevention practices you can ensure patient safety, practice team compliance, and OSHA approval.

However, in a business as bustling as dentistry with patients coming in and out and an endless stream of other tasks to tackle on a daily basis, completing a thorough assessment of infection control practices can feel a little daunting.

To help ensure this essential practice task is as efficient and organized as possible we’re sharing a straightforward resource that breaks down assessing dental infection prevention into sections with specific questions requiring a simple “yes” or “no” answer.

The Infection Prevention Checklist for Dental Settings was created by the CDC in 2016 and covers a wide range of areas to assess, including:

  • Having written current infection control policies
  • Employee training on blood borne pathogen contact
  • Dental unit waterline safety
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Safe injection practices

In total there are 18 pages of clear and concise questions to answer, making it quick and easy to spot areas where your practice might not be compliant.

Using this self-assessment can make the task much more manageable for your practice, especially if you assign one point person to be in charge of keeping track of and leading practice assessments. Set a yearly calendar reminder to complete the assessment and feel confident that you are doing what you can to keep your practice compliant and your patients safe and healthy.

Once you’ve completed your assessment you can use what you’ve learned to update your practice’s infection control plan. Because, in addition to your annual assessment, it’s important to remember that OSHA also requires all staff members who have direct patient contact review the plan and sign a contract stating they understand it.

Do you have any more tips for maintaining infection control compliance and remembering your annual assessment? If so let us know in the comments!