Dental Infection Control: Who is Monitoring Your Practice?

By on 10:11 AM

During the spring of 2013 and 2014, the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Pennsylvania Board of Dentistry visited several dental practices to review infection control practices in the dental setting. The most common areas of citation included unsanitary handling and reprocessing of instruments that are used to conduct a variety of patient procedures. In addition, cleaning of the environment in the dental operatories was scrutinized.

Infection Control Consulting Services (ICCS), a nationally renowned consulting firm offering expert infection prevention services to a variety of healthcare facilities and organizations, including dentists, has been instrumental in assisting Pennsylvania dentists with developing, instituting and maintaining "best practices," including the provision of an infection control manual for dentists and oral surgeons. In addition, cleaning, disinfection and sterilization of dental instruments was addressed in writing and improved procedures were instituted.

Given the nature of these and other visits by Pennsylvania Department of Health and Pennsylvania Board of Dentistry officials, as well as subsequent suspension of licenses, it is imperative that dentists ensure their dental and oral surgery infection control includes the most current and updated practices as well as risk mitigation for their patients. Safe and sanitary services are imperative in the dental infection control setting.

If there is any doubt about an office practice's ability to deliver safe, compliant care, they should, at the least, liaise with an expert in the dental infection control industry to assist with optimizing cleaning, disinfection and sterilization practices as well as other best practices within the operatories that are often overlooked.

ICCS offers the expertise and services of Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, president and owner, who has been practicing infection prevention and control in the healthcare setting for over 30 years and is well-versed in dental infection control practices. Services range from on-site visits with a comprehensive written report, development of a customized infection control manual and assistance with monitoring practices including those of cleaning, disinfection and sterilization. Long-distance assistance is also available via phone call and e-mail. Contact ICCS today to learn what we can do for you.

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC, is the founder and president of Infection Control Consulting Services LLC (ICCS). Phenelle has more than 30 years' experience providing customized comprehensive infection control and prevention services to healthcare facilities nationwide. Her services focus on assisting hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dental office and oral surgery practices, doctor's offices, nursing homes and other organizations with implementing and maintaining an infection control program that: complies with The Joint Commission, AAAHC, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and other regulatory agencies; respond to situations of noncompliance; and improve the processes for reducing risk.