3 Ways To Avoid Patient Infection Exposure (and Practice Closure)

Infection Control PPE

Failure to follow infection control guidelines can expose patients to bloodborne pathogens, such as Hepatitis C and HIV. The consequences—steep financial penalties and potential office closure—are entirely avoidable. You don’t want to be the subject of a news headline like:

3 Philly Dental Clinics Closed for Unsanitary Conditions and Possibly Exposing Patients to Diseases, Including HIV

The local health department chose to close 3 dental practices in the Philadelphia area due to:

  • Needles were being reused on patients.
  • Dental instruments used on patients not cleaned appropriately or in a timely fashion.

Healthcare facilities must constantly review the latest Best Management Practices (BMPs) with their staff to ensure the latest infection prevention protocols are being followed within the practice. Stay in compliance and avoid patient risk by following these three protocols:

1. OSHA Sharps Handling Best Management Practices (BMPs)

OSHA estimates that 5.6 million healthcare workers are at risk of occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens. Each year, an estimated 384,000 skin puncture injuries are sustained from needles and other sharp devices. That’s more than 1,000 each day!

As a healthcare professional, you want to minimize the risk of injury to your staff and liability to your practice through OSHA-recommended BMPs for sharps handling and disposal. Use our helpful infographic to reinforce best practices.

2. Manufacturer-Recommended Sterilization of Dental Equipment

Your office staff should follow ADA recommendations and CDC guidelines for proper equipment sterilization and OSAP FAQs regarding sterilization of instruments & equipment. Follow CDC guidelines for proper testing of sterilizers using biological monitoring strips on a weekly basis.

3. Third-Party Spore Testing and Reporting Services

Healthcare offices benefit from incorporating weekly mail-in biological monitoring services into their practice. Not only is it recommended by the CDC, but it uses outside test labs to properly test and provide third-party documentation of proper sterilization of dental equipment.  Many dental practices stay organized through a solution that includes online reporting (such as BIOlogical by HealthFirst). By accessing your online account, you can produce compliance documentation and sterility reports to provide the required documentation.

HealthFirst Can Help With Infection Control Products and Protocols

HealthFirst can help you implement the best solutions to help prevent infectious outbreaks. We offer:

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Waterline Testing and Treatment E-Book

Ensure your dental unit waterlines are safe from harmful bacteria. HealthFirst offers a simple way to automate a testing and treatment program.