You are a seasoned dental professional, right?  There is no doubt that you know what is considered “Right & Wrong” when it comes to Sterilization & Disinfection, within the dental office setting correct?  Hmmm… Take notice old dog, there are a few new tricks to be learned…

First, let’s travel back in time:  We’ve all sat through that Infection Control Course in Dental School and had that one “ah-ha” moment when we discovered our grotesque but beautiful attraction to manage the flow and flickering of blood & saliva.  For many of us, it was the first time we saw the training video:  “If Saliva Were Red”.  (We have provided the OSAP updated version above (in color)! Don’t let the Spanish title throw you off—there are no words, it is intended for universal viewing)

During our dental education: We read, study and looked deeply at the science behind  Infection Control.  Infection Control Practices become as Foundation as knowing what bur to use for a specific prep or what instruments to use when packing cord.  So how much can Infection Control Practices change? Not much you would think.  But the Centers for Disease Control is taking an updated elevated stance.  In March of 2016, they published their revised Summary of Infection Prevention Practices for the Dental Setting.  If you have not yet looked over this document —you should!  It will impact the way you practice Infection Control Protocols on a daily basis within your dental office.  In fact, I urge you to print it.  (Have lots of paper in the printer—it is 44 pages long).  Pay special notice to the “blue highlighted boxes”.  Then plan to have several staff meetings to get your team familiar, acclimated and “on-task” to implement these updated Infection Control Practices. Why?

The answer:  OSHA Inspectors are focusing on these new CDC Infection Control Practices for the dental office setting.  As an OSHA & HIPAA Researcher & Trainer, I work directly with OSHA Inspectors and dental offices every day to bridge-the-gap between noncompliance and the ever-updating OSHA Protocols.  Did you know that the average OSHA Fine in 2016 was $1700 per infraction?  And Inspectors never stop at just finding one thing wrong within a facility!  Recently, I’ve encountered–more and more—that OSHA Inspectors are using this CDC document, along with their cell phones, to navigate through the halls of your dental office.  They will literally video tape and take pictures of your Infection Control Practices!  It’s upsetting to discover that many dental offices are unaware of these new CDC Updates.  And that can add up to be big bucks in the world of OSHA Inspections.

Yes, cell phones now provide OSHA Inspectors a “real-time technology stamp” on the everyday Infection Control Practices that are being performed within your office.  From improper hand washing to unsafely returning a used syringe to your dental assistant to be recapped, these “real-time personalized stamps” are sure to cost you plenty, unless…

You take the time to embrace this new CDC Infection Control Update.  I compel you to print and review this document closely with your team.  Plan to have several staff meetings to make updates to your current Infection Control Practices.   Then implement the new doctrines into your daily routines.  All dental professionals must keep aware of the changes in infectious disease management and brush-up on our “careful” skill sets.  ” Expertise” has a counterpart: “Shortcuts”.  And in this scenario, short-cuts can mean trouble! Cutting-corners is never the calling cards that true professionals want to be known for…

As the owner of a Compliance Solutions Company, we too have taken the time to really embrace these new doctrines.  Our OSHA Manual has been rewritten to include four new—customizable sections and is currently 345 pages in length!
Written protocols are requirements that OSHA Inspectors will look for immediately when arriving at your dental practice. So, get your office prepared!

I hope you have found this information to be compelling.  Take my Staff Meeting Challenge:  Print these new CDC Infection Control Guidelines; Implement them within your dental practice.   If you find yourself needing additional insight or if you want some guided-help with the process, don’t hesitate to reach out to me or my team for some inspiration or support.  It is never easy to make these changes alone.  We understand that and we are here to help!

Don’t wait until the OSHA Inspector is in your reception room.  Take the time—and get this done!      

written by:
Dental Enhancements