Dental offices and oral surgery centers are being closely scrutinized throughout the nation as standards have been brought to a new level. In 2013, a number of incidents cast dental service providers into a negative spotlight, including Infection Control Consulting Services (ICCS) Founder Phenelle Segal's "landmark case" of a dentist she consulted whose license was suspended following allegations of improper and unsanitary practices.
Dental infection control requires special skills to ensure that proper, compliant practices are implemented, maintained and enforced in both the operatory and central reprocessing areas. Bloodborne pathogens, in particular, create a risk to patients, particularly as the oral cavity is highly vascular, and improper practices can potentially expose patients to diseases. In addition, bacterial infections, particularly those occurring as a result of water-loving pathogens, including non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), can cause infections in certain populations (children undergoing pulpotomies and immunocompromised patients).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidelines in 2003 which are still widely used today to determine effective practices in the dental and oral surgery setting. Although most dental practices and oral surgery centers believe they are 100% compliant with their practices, the truth is this is usually not the case. When ICCS visits dental practices, our vast experience allows us to uncover areas of practice breach usually only recognized by a trained eye. ICCS successfully identifies patient safety risks, then provides mitigation strategies if problems are caught prior to incident or remediation in the event of a problem identified by authorities.
ICCS conducts on-site visits to assess best practices and educates staff via a written report and/or in-service as well as develops comprehensive written infection prevention plans.
If you are interested in improving your processes and procedures and would like to learn how ICCS can help, please contact us for a complimentary telephone consultation.