You’ve opened your doors to patients, implemented a few new COVID Protocols, it feels awesome to be back to work!  But are you fully prepared for an unexpected OSHA or Health Department Inspection?  Impromptu audits, these days, can cost thousands of dollars!  To avoid the expense, stress & disruption of an insidious inspection, read these easy-to-implement, valuable tips about how to best insulate your dental office.  We have entered a new age of OSHA & HIPAA Compliance.   COVID Compliance Requirements can be simple — if you connect a few more imperative dots…

Like most USA dental offices, you probably have used the  ADA Tool Kit that provided the step-by-step instructions for which PPE to wear, how to set up social distancing, patients/employee screening, and the new Covid Infection Control Practices. 

But did you also know you had to record all of these new COVID changes in written format?  Yes, the first touch-point,  that OSHA or Health Department Inspectors will request, these days, will be your required back-to-work written COVID Preparedness Plan.  You can self-design this document,  by using the government-issued reference guide OSHA 3990.  This will provide you with the framework for creating your document.  Be prepared to invest 100 to 125 hours to ensure you have all of the required OSHA 3990 requirements, customized to reflect your COVID compliance within your dental setting.  Yikes! 

If you’re not much of an investment of time, try a more reasonable-to-navigate, templated Pandemic Preparedness Plan that will allow you to “check-off-boxes” or “fill-in-the-blanks” to design your own written COVID Preparedness Plan.

Be Mindful: these COVID-Management Protocols & Requirements will evolve.  No doubt, as time progresses, protocols for PPE, employee & patient screening processes, vaccination & infection control practices will evolve.  As OSHA Compliance Trainers, we receive common questions, from dental offices throughout the USA.  Most current, are questions about Employee Vaccinations.  Your patients may have already been calling your office, to inquire: 

“Are all of your employees vaccinated?”

“I only want to see your vaccinated hygienists!”  

And vaccinated employees may be under the misconception that they can stop wearing COVID-inspired PPE.  While many mandate updates will emerge with clarity, others remain murky and need to be researched or logically readapted into your office policies. 

What Should Dental Practice Owners  Do?  The most prudent and practical answer is to stay current and up-to-date on the evolution of COVID-Compliance laws.  While that may be easier-said-than-done, these days, aligning with a trusted, Compliance Expert may be the safest & healthiest conduit to ensure that your dental facility stays committed to changing all compliance liabilities into practice assets!

Use this COVID-Compliance Checklist:  To ensure that your team has comprehensively set your COVID-Compliance Protocols, use the checklist below.  Make sure that you can answer “yes”  to all of these components that Compliance Officers will require to see in writing: 

  • Proof of COVID-Management Employee Training
  • Proof of Annual OSHA Training
  • Written Pandemic Preparedness Plan
  • Employee Occupational Hazard Forms— written to the new COVID Standards
  • Respirator Voluntary Disclaimer Form (clinical employees only)

COVID has brought massive changes to dental office OSHA & HIPAA Practices! Are your facilities’ written protocols in order?  Don’t stay stuck!  Knowledge is power!  

First steps?   Consider a private Discovery Meeting to review your current OSHA & HIPAA status.  If you’d like a private, confidential evaluation, from our Compliance Coaches at Dental Enhancements, Inc.,  we are happy to help you get “in the know”!  Discovery is usually the best “first step”  to understanding your obligations so that you can prepare your team to be safe, confident & ready —for any OSHA, Health Department, or HIPAA Inspection.