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Pennsylvania Dentist Suspended for Infection Control Negligence. Patients Encouraged to get Viral Testing

 

SHAMOKIN– Dr. Vincent Paczkoskie , a dentist in Shamonkin, PA practicing for over 40 years, has had his license suspended after Pennsylvania State Health Officials found he did not follow appropriate protocols to sterilize and disinfect instruments.  Inspectors found several violations including:  No evidence of instruments being sterilized during several weeks in June  2014, not having a contract with a Bio-Medical Waste Disposal Company and several other procedural  issues with regards infection control in the office.

Currently there are  no reports of patients being infected with life threatening viruses but the Pennsylvania  Department of Health is recommending current and former patients be tested for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV.

https://on.aol.com/video/dentist-accused-of-exposing-patients-to-hiv-518272335

Written by Jill Obrochta and Heather Whitt of Dental Enhancements.

 

Dental office OSHA and HIPAA – WHAT’S REQUIRED?

If you don’t know the answer to this question, you are in for a surprise! You are not the only one in the dark regarding compliance deadlines when it comes to OSHA and HIPAA. Let us enlighten you.

Let’s begin at the beginning! Annual OSHA Employee Training is required for Federal OSHA compliance, this you may already know.

In addition to that, there was an International Chemical Safety Module added last year called The Global Harmonization System Law (GHS). It is in fact, is a completely separate training requirement from Annual OSHA Employee Training. Not to worry, don’t be overwhelmed, help is available. There are easy, affordable options to help you achieve the GHS training requirement. Selecting the right training program is key! You want a comprehensive, yet simple program (with hand-holding if necessary). Be sure you choose a company that will walk you through the process and provides outstanding service as well.

If that isn’t enough to make your head spin, there’s more! HIPAA has completely changed as of last year. The new protocols are called HIPAA Omnibus Rule. All training and implementation of new protocols were due in place by September 23, 2013. Dental offices now need to be compliant to the Omnibus Rules. This involves employee training and new patient forms, as well as a new HIPAA manual written to the new Omnibus Rule Standard. Again, choosing a user-friendly compliance training program is key! Choosing a compliance company that will walk you through this process, provide ready-to-use forms and easy-to-understand training is paramount. HIPAA compliance is very complex and overwhelming on its own. Don’t try to navigate this slippery slope on your own, help is only a phone call away! For a free HIPAA consultation for your dental office, call 941-587-2864.

Written by Jill Obrochta and Heather Whitt of Dental Enhancements

 

Top 10 things you do not want to say to an OSHA inspector

Not sure if you are aware but many States are hiring additional OSHA Inspectors for more penetration into the workplace.   Dental Offices are especially being profiled.

In recent months several dental offices have been made examples of for gross negligence in infection control processes.  New Hampshire Orthodontist and Oklahoma Oral Surgeon.  Now let’s focus on what you would never want to say to an OSHA Inspector:

 

1.     “Shoot, I don’t think our autoclave is working today.  Can we just use bleach on the instruments?”

 

2.    “What do you mean I can’t wear my dirty scrubs home.  I wear them to the grocery store after work all the time.”

 

3.    “Hold on a second, I have to run this dirty needle down the hall to the sterilization area.”

 

4.    “Where is my Big Red Bag?  I have a big red beach bag at home, is that what you mean?”

 

5.    “Yes, we always drink coffee up here at the front desk, and I keep snacks right here in this drawer for convenience.”

 

6.    “What do you mean we have to do these Spore Strip Tests Weekly?”

 

7.    “What do you mean we have to send these Spore Strip Tests out to a Third Party for evaluation, we do that all in-house!”

 

8.    “GHS Certified?, No we don’t have that. We are CPR Certified!”

 

9.    “We do not have Pictograms, but Suzie got a Pajam-a-gram for her birthday at the office last week!”

 

10.  “OSHA — Sm-OSHA, we have patients to see around here. We don’t have time for that.”

 

So much for poking a little fun at the regulations.  Seriously, many dental offices do not know where unsafe behavior starts and where compliance begins!  Don’t be caught unprepared or looking uneducated.  Saying that you are unaware of the laws will only infuriate most OSHA Inspectors.  Make sure you choose an OSHA Compliance Training Company that will help you get all regulations in place.  Choose one that will help you with understanding the laws, implementing all of the requirements and that is available for direct questions you may have when putting your protocols in place.

 

Say what you need to say to Mr. OSHA Inspector, but say it with confidence and conviction.

 

Written by Jill Obrochta & Heather Whitt of Dental Enhancements.

 

 

 

 

Dental office: HIPAA- what paperwork is required?

 

So you are in charge of HIPAA Compliance for your dental office, now what? If you are wondering where to even start, you are not alone. Knowing what paperwork is required is imperative (and it is extensive!) As of September 23, 2013, federal HIPAA Law was updated to the new Omnibus Rule Standard. 580 pages of revised HIPAA law. You may feel overwhelmed, but there are options to make implementing  HIPAA Omnibus Rule protocols within your dental practice smooth and successful. All of your current HIPAA forms will need to change, and you are responsible for adding a few more! Choosing a HIPAA expert that provides ready-to-use forms is priceless! If you are in charge of making your own HIPAA forms, that is a daunting task. If you do not want that headache and responsibility, you absolutely should choose a HIPAA compliance training company that will create and provide all the forms for you compliant to Omnibus Rule. Training you and all of your employees to HIPAA Omnibus Rule Standards is also imperative. You’ll also need a new  HIPAA manual written to Omnibus Rule. So back to forms, what is required?

1.    New Employee and Business Associate Confidentiality Agreements

2.    New Patient Acknowledgement Forms, Omnibus Rule Compliant

3.    New Notice of Privacy Practices disclosed

4.    Third Party Release Form for Medical Records

5.    Many others

6.    A new HIPAA manual written to Omnibus Rule Requirements

 

Don’t fret. Instead, choose a HIPAA compliance company that specializes in helping dental offices get completely HIPAA Omnibus Rule compliant. Hip hop over to check out this HIPAA Omnibus Rule Complete Package, it’s our favorite!

 

Written by: Jill Obrochta and Heather Whitt of Dental Enhancements

Dental office: OSHA- what paperwork is required?

 

Are you the lucky one that is in charge of OSHA compliance for your office? If you are, then where to begin with the required paperwork can leave your head spinning! Keep in mind, there is a lot of paperwork required beyond the proof-of-annual-training certificate that your employees need to sign. Let’s take a look at what else is required to be comprehensively compliant:

 

As of December 1, 2013, an additional module to OSHA called The Global Harmonization System (GHS) requires additional training and paperwork for all of your employees. GHS is an international chemical safety program. GHS Certification is now a required part of your OSHA paperwork. Also, all employees should sign forms with their risk of occupational exposures categorized, and rated by professional position. OSHA manuals are also due to be updated, and written to GHS Standard. Are you confused, maybe a little intimidated? You want to do the right thing, but where do you turn?

Rather than try to figure out and find the paperwork yourself, finding a reliable, knowledgeable OSHA compliance company will take the burden off of you completely. This one decision in hiring the right OSHA experts can be the single, most important decision you can make regarding your offices’ OSHA compliance. You’ll want to look for a company that can supply all forms and training needs so you can do what you do best, dentistry!

All of the Dental Enhancements products and services come with guided attention from one of our OSHA/GHS experts and you get all necessary forms customized for your team and in electronic format. (Microsoft Word and PDF).

Paperwork: you either have too much or can get caught with not having enough. Don’t risk it! Call Dental Enhancements and get on the right paper trail!

 

Written by Jill Obrochta and Heather Whitt of Dental Enhancements

 

 

Dental Office: Where’s Your OSHA Tooth Fairy?

 

It’s no joke, having to face OSHA Compliance (especially if you are the one in charge of it!) is a pain!  No worries, sit back click your heels together and we are about to make the pain subside.  Keep in mind these (3) factors and you will be flying high with OSHA compliance:

 

1.   Comprehensive Is Key!:  In 2013 OSHA compliance mandated that dental offices begin to implement the Global Harmonization System (GHS).  By December 1, 2013 it was required that all employees be trained to this GHS-Standard. Proof of this training is also required.  Your OSHA Manual will also need to be updated to this new GHS standard.  Finally, your required OSHA Employee Paperwork needs to be updated too.  Don’t feel overwhelmed or discouraged.  Simply choose a comprehensive GHS training solution.  This one seems to be written by the tooth fairy herself.  It’s logical and stress-free!

 

2.   Seek Expert Advice:  Plain and simple: Work with OSHA Experts! The new protocols are complex and “You don’t know what you don’t know…(but you need to!)  Don’t put your office at risk for a stressful OSHA inspection.  It’s not worth the agony. Be sure to choose an OSHA compliance company that will protect and guide you.  (This company makes it easy!)

 

3.   Are You Up-to-Date?  There is no excuse for non-compliance, And “not knowing” is not a good answer! GHS Standards will undoubtedly change and update.  Stay in-touch with a compliance company that will provide comprehensive yet easy-to-understand compliance updates.  Choose an OSHA Compliance Training Company that will share updates with you throughout the year and provide an interactive relationship.  You will gain comfort, confidence, and peace-of-mind.

 

Remember these (3) factors are the key to your OSHA compliance success.  The OSHA Tooth Fairy is out there.  Call her at 941-587-2864.

 

Written by Jill Obrochta RDH BS & Heather Whitt EFDA of Dental Enhancements.

 

 

 

GHS- Why?… And What’s It All About

 

There is an old adage:  “You don’t know, what you don’t know”…And you may not know:  Federal OSHA law mandates that you have an additional training module added to your list of OSHA requirements that deal with “international chemical safety in the workplace”.

 

The fancy name for this is Global Harmonization System (GHS) and it was required for all employees (full-time, part-time and even receptionists) as of December 1, 2013.  GHS is the result of the Earth Summit, a meeting of international minds to help standardize chemical safety guidelines for all workplaces around the world.  The GHS Standard is new to the USA but has been in full operation in Europe, Canada and several United Nations for the past 8 years.  It deals with making the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)  of the USA to a standardized format, called Safety Data Sheets (SDS).  These are to be hosted in a cloud library for easy access by all employees.  The requirement is 24-hour access in case of a reaction to chemicals previously used in the workplace.  Additionally, the Hazard Rating Labels of the USA turn into “pictograms”. Small universal symbols that convey chemical dangers when handling substances at work.

 

The most important thing for dental offices to be aware of is to get the required training under your belt ASAP if you have not yet completed this within your office. (It was due in place by December 1, 2013!).  Choose a comprehensive program that gives you:  Employee Training, Proof-of-GHS-Training Certificate, New OSHA Manual (written to this GHS Standard) and all updated Employee Paperwork.  The GHS Complete Package is a favorite amongst dental professionals and it comes with a 30-minute navigational session of the materials with an OSHA/GHS Expert.  This will help you “know what you need to know”.  Get smart.  Get GHS comprehensive training and “git er done!”

 

Written by Jill Obrochta & Heather Whitt of Dental Enhancements.

 

The Top (10) items to have ready for a HIPAA Auditor

 

With the sweeping changes that came forth as a result of HIPAA Omnibus Rule (due in place in all healthcare facilities by September 23, 2013), there are some definite items you will want to have ready for any impromptu HIPAA audit. As of January 2014, a federal HIPAA taskforce has been out and about enforcing the new HIPAA Omnibus Rule. Non-compliance can get you into hefty fines (ranging from $10K-1.5M) and a HIPAA audit that can range from 3 – 18 months’ time, continually managed by the HIPAA auditor. Don’t get caught unprepared!

Here are our top 10 recommendations to be looking good during any audit.

1.   Have your team trained to HIPAA Omnibus Rule Standard with proof-of-training

2.   Have a new HIPAA manual written to the new Omnibus Rule Standard

3.   Have required Business Associates Agreement signed by your vendors and on file

4.   Update and utilize a new Patient Acknowledgement Form written to the New Omnibus Rule Standard

5.   Display the new Notice of Privacy Practices in your office and on your website

6.   Complete your Data Backup and Contingency Plan in written format

7.   Make sure you are encrypting outgoing email

8.   Make sure your data backup is offsite and encrypted (cloud off site streaming is preferred)

9.   Implement all protocols regarding Protected Health Information (PHI) within your office

10.Get help from an expert HIPAA coaching service if you are overwhelmed

 

 

Don’t wait for that dreaded phone call or visit from a Federal HIPAA Auditor, make sure you choose a HIPAA coaching service that will give you comprehensive training protocols. We love the comprehensive 2014 HIPAA Omnibus Rule Complete Compliance Package.  Get hip to HIPAA, it’s the law!

Written by Jill Obrochta and Heather Whitt

Top 10 items to have ready for any OSHA inspection

 Make sure you are prepared for Mr. OSHA inspector. These are the top 10 things that most OSHA inspectors will look for:

       1.   Your annual OSHA employee proof-of-training certificate

       2.   Other OSHA required paperwork and records

       3.    Proof of GHS Training Certificate

       4.   Biohazard receipts (for the past 3 years)

       5.   3rd party Spore Strip Test Reports

       6.    Updated OSHA Manual written to GHS (Global Harmonization System) Standard

       7.   Small red bag in every operatory

       8.   Small red sharps container in every operatory

       9.   All team have access to and should be wearing long sleeved labcoats

     10.    No food or drink outside of designated break room

Of course there are many other areas of OSHA compliance. Best practices would be to hire a competent OSHA compliance training company that will make your office compliant in these 3 areas:

1.   Annual OSHA employee training

2.   All required paperwork and manuals

3.   Customized Facility Report

You will also want to have ongoing communication with their OSHA experts. Our favorite program is the Initial Annual OSHA Employee Training Package or the All in One OSHA Training Package.

Don’t be caught unprepared, make sure your training company has your back.

 

Written by Jill Obrochta and Heather Whitt of Dental Enhancements

Dental Office: Is Free OSHA Really Worth It?

We’ve all been there:  The Supply Rep brings in a decadent sandwich tray, you are eyeing the chocolate chip cookies, wondering if it’s worth the indulgence.  Then you decide, you really must munch on something sweet just to tolerate the next 45 minutes of OSHA yammering!  Is the free lunchtime OSHA really worth it?

Well, let’s face it:  Free is free. And while you may get a review of safety laws and the convoluted requirements of OSHA, nothing free really amounts to much.  Especially, when the OSHA Inspector shows up at your dental office ready to shoot holes through your Free OSHA Compliance Program.  (Uggh… Agida!  <hick-up>)

Let’s avoid the belly-aching and review the proper, comprehensive way to set up your OSHA Compliance Program.  A really good OSHA Compliance Program will have (3) components. Don’t leave any of these out:

1.   Have an Annual OSHA Employee Training Session

A proper OSHA Training Session requires you review and fully understand up to (23) areas of compliance.  Make sure you have a certificate that references all 23 areas and that all employees sign off on this.

2.  Obtain & Fill-Out All Required OSHA Employee Paperwork

There are (5) required forms for each employee to fill out.  Make sure your receptionists and part-timers are included in this paper fiasco too.  Everyone must comply.

3.  Make Sure Your Facility is up to Complete OSHA Compliance

Choose a compliance company that has expertise in all OSHA regulations for the dental office.  One that can offer a customized facility report for your office then help you get the recommendations into place.

So in the end, there really are no “free lunches”.  Get yourself aligned with an OSHA Training Company that provides the “whole enchilada”.  It’s easier on the palate and won’t come back up on you later.  <burrrp>

 

Written by Jill Obrochta & Heather Whitt of Dental Enhancements