Two Ways Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Can Be Practice Ready

Dental Medical Emergency Readiness
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When it comes to ensuring that your practice is ready and prepared to see patients every day, oral surgeons have a lot to manage. This blog reviews two key aspects of practice readiness for oral surgery: medical emergency preparedness and spore testing.

Prepared for Medical Emergencies

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are aware of the risks related to common medical emergencies as well as incidents involving anesthetized patients.  One of the key steps in being ready and ensuring regulatory compliance is to know and align with your state’s dental practice act.

Emergency Medical Kit or Crash Cart

Oral surgeons performing IV sedation are equipped with an emergency medical kit or a crash cart.  While it’s important to have the right drugs and devices to administer advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), the organization and accessibility of those supplies can be important for a quick and efficient response.

Additionally, emergency medications should always be up to date. One of the easiest ways to ensure that the medications are replaced before expiration is to use a software-based service such as the Auto-Replenishment Service from HealthFirst.

Patient Monitoring

Industry associations increasingly recognize and recommend capnography as important to monitor sedated patients. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) revised its Parameters of Care in 2014 to require oral and maxillofacial surgery practices to utilize capnography equipment for all procedures requiring moderate sedation, deep sedation, and general anesthesia.1

Portable Oxygen

Although nearly every oral surgery office has built-in oxygen systems, portable oxygen can improve an office team’s ability to respond to a medical emergency that occurs outside the operatory. Portability enables the delivery of oxygen in the waiting room, hallways, and restrooms.

Spore Testing and Record-Keeping

Spore testing is an important aspect of patient safety and infection control in oral surgery practices. The CDC’s guideline indicates that spore testing should be done once a week. However, oral surgeons are advised to spore test every load with an implantable device. Ideally, these implantable items should not be used until they test negative for spore growth. 2

Different spore testing services are available for both requirements. While a mail-in spore testing product can help facilitate weekly testing, an in-office sport testing solution is appropriate for testing autoclave loads containing implantable devices.

Maintaining accurate records of spore tests is imperative from a compliance perspective.  Ideally, the recording and documentation should be as automated as possible. OnTraq, HealthFirst’s practice readiness application, provides a simple way to maintain a secure, online record of spore testing at the practice and autoclave levels.

HealthFirst Practice Readiness Solutions

HealthFirst practice readiness solutions can help oral surgeons more easily manage emergency preparedness and spore testing. Both responsibilities can require a lot of time and manual work to stay up to date and compliant. That’s why HealthFirst uses smart automation to alleviate those headaches and perform some of those cumbersome tasks for oral surgeons and their staff.

HealthFirst maintains emergency medical kits though its Auto-Replenishment Service so that medications are always replaced before expiration. The status of medications is also linked to OnTraq to provide rapid visibility and reporting for compliance and readiness. These same services are also available for oral surgeons’ crash carts – even if they have custom formularies.

OnTraq also uses smart automation to connect with HealthFirst’s BIOlogical spore-testing products and services. Mail-in spore testing results are automatically uploaded to a secure profile, where customers can see a record of all spore tests for each autoclave. For in-office spore tests, offices can easily fill out an Ontraq form and add to their spore test record maintained in the cloud-based application.

HealthFirst also offers other practice readiness products such as AEDs, oxygen, vital signs monitors and dental waste management solutions (such as those for sharps, medical, pharmaceutical and amalgam waste).

Managing Multiple Oral Surgery Practices

Ensuring practice readiness for multiple offices is a challenge – especially as a group continues to grow. Tracking emergency medications and spore tests can be cumbersome using spreadsheets and lists – no matter how organized you are.  HealthFirst’s automated solutions, including the OnTraq application, help reduce the amount of work required to ensure an entire organization is practice ready. One online dashboard can show whether an entire organization has up-to-date emergency medications and a compliant spore-testing record.

  1. http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Education%20and%20Careers/Files/CDEL_Comments_2016Q1.pdf?la=en
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/infectioncontrol/questions/sterilization/monitoring.html

3 thoughts on “Two Ways Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Can Be Practice Ready”

  1. It’s great you explained how oral surgeons should be ready when it comes to facing dental emergencies since they have a lot to manage–since they have to be prepared for anything that comes through the door and operate on a patient at a moment’s notice. One of the things to keep in mind is that there should always be an emergency medical kit on standby that’s stocked and ready to be used when the time comes. While I have no experience with working as an oral surgeon, I do appreciate that anyone who works in their field has to be ready no matter whatever situation comes up especially when emergency patients are brought their way for tooth extractions.

  2. I like how you talk about preparedness in these kinds of situations–one of the things that any kind of practicing doctor should always bear in mind when they’re working with patients. With how complicated tooth surgeries can get, it always helps to keep an eye on the patient in the dentist’s chair, especially if the process of removing some of their teeth could take a while because of how it grew in wrong, or if it’s hitting another tooth and is causing the patient discomfort. Now, even if my own wisdom teeth haven’t come in yet, it’s reassuring to know that oral surgeons would always keep in mind the welfare of their patients especially in certain situations like these.