September is Dental Infection Control Awareness Month (#DICAM20) and we, along with the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP) are encouraging dental professionals to participate by sharing infection control best practices, success stories and more. Use the hashtag #DICAM20 on social media to join the conversation and share your own tips or professional advice.
To kick off this important month, we asked nationally-recognized healthcare risk management and compliance expert, Linda Harvey, MS, RDH, HRM, to share her best advice for managing infection control in the dental practice setting.
#DIACM20 comes at an important time as COVID-19 has undeniably changed the way we practice dentistry and manage infection control. Every area of your practice has been impacted, from how patients are scheduled and checked in, to how office staff don and doff all the new or additional personal protective equipment (PPE).
Listen below as Linda walks through what she calls the Three Ps for Infection Prevention. Use the following resource guide (PDF available here) as Linda goes into deeper explanation of each of the three Ps, then visit the links at the end for more information.
First “P”: Person
- This is mission critical.
- Compliance Challenge No. 1: Who’s in charge of infection prevention in your practice?
Second “P”: Policy
- Having policies & procedures in writing is necessary now more than ever.
- Compliance Challenge No. 2: Do you know the five magic words related to policy?
Third “P”: Processes
- Dive into the Hierarchy of Controls – (OSAP) recently partnered with the DentaQuest Foundation to produce a document titled, Best Practices for Infection Control in Dental Clinics during COVID-19 Pandemic. This includes information and resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Dental Association (ADA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA). Within this document, there is a dental-specific version of the CDC’s Hierarchy of Controls. The pyramid depicts how we can control and manage exposure to occupational hazards and protect workers.
- Compliance Challenge No. 3: Review the Hierarchy of Controls. Compare with what you have in place with various products and services available that assist in your COVID 19 initiatives, then rate your practice.
- OSAP partnered with the DANB/DALE Foundation to create a training pathway for dental IP specialists: dentalinfectioncontrol.org
- Hu Friedy GreenLight Compliance program
- OSAP membership – 50% off coupon: LINDA50
- Patterson Product Solutions to support Hierarchy of Controls
- PPE – Protect the Worker from the Hazard – Gowns, Gloves, Mask, Face Shield, Goggles
- Administrative Controls –Change the Way People Work
- Engineering Controls – Isolate People from the Hazard
- Substitution – Replace the Hazard
- Elimination – Physically Remove the Hazard
- Don’t stop with infection control processes, take a look at elevating overall compliance in your practice with the Institute for Dental Compliance and Risk Management. Click here to join the Institute today!
About the speaker
A nationally-recognized healthcare risk management and compliance expert, Linda Harvey, MS, RDH, HRM, assists dentists and teams in navigating regulatory requirements. She is the founder and president of two compliance-related companies, the Institute for Dental Compliance and the Linda Harvey Group, Inc.
During her programs, Linda draws from real-world experience, having worked with offices that have undergone Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), OSHA and Infection Control audits. Linda’s programs will challenge you to look at your compliance programs from a different perspective, particularly amid the COVID-19 crisis.
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