Download - AR YOU? - Hu-Friedy · on treating patients and growing their businesses. As a result, infection control responsibilities can fall to dental assistants, who may have been trained

Transcript
Page 1: AR YOU? - Hu-Friedy · on treating patients and growing their businesses. As a result, infection control responsibilities can fall to dental assistants, who may have been trained

Conversations about infection control can happen any time, any place. Imagine yourself at your next industry event; it’s not hard to see the following scenario unfold.

“Hey, did you hear what happened out west?”

You’re just settling into one of the last available seats in Conference Hall B, jammed in the back row between a dentist on the left who is encroaching maybe a bit too far into your zone and on your right, a chatty younger dentist, clearly eager to make the most of this year’s

In today’s era of dentistry, thinking your infection control protocols are compliant isn’t enough. You need to know.

HOW UNCERTAIN ARE YOU?

Page 2: AR YOU? - Hu-Friedy · on treating patients and growing their businesses. As a result, infection control responsibilities can fall to dental assistants, who may have been trained

conference by networking with every dental professional who crosses her path.

It’s a little early for you to contribute coherently to a conversation. You came in late last night, jetting across three time zones after a full day of patients. The latte you grabbed on the way to the seminar this morning (the reason you were too late for the choice seats) is only just now starting to kick in. But you remember, not too long ago, you were in this young dentist’s lab coat, searching for sage advice to jumpstart your career. You bite.

“That depends,” you say, mentally willing the bleariness out of your voice. “A lot of things happen every day. What are you referring to?”

And then, realizing your rudeness, you introduce yourself. The young dentist shakes your hand, apparently thrilled to have found a willing conversant.

“A dental practice wasn’t using any internal indicators during their sterilization process,” she says. “They also only performed monthly biological monitoring of their sterilizers and didn’t record the results. At some point, their sterilizer started malfunctioning and they didn’t have any records showing when it was last working properly.”

The young dentist lowers her voice conspiratorially.

“They had to recall…,” she says, pausing for effect, “ALL the patients for testing of diseases such as hepatitis and HIV. It was a fiasco — and an expensive one at that!”

Dramatic chords strike in your head, like an old-timey radio show — dun, dun, DUHNNN! You have to suppress a smile. Of course you know about that incident. You make it a habit, and a matter of professional interest, to stay on top of the infection control news. And this one was a big story.

But in kindness to the earnest young dentist, you offer, “Is that so?”

“Oh, yeah,” she says. “That’s why I’m here. This infection control stuff is serious. I don’t want to end up like that practice. One mistake, and my practice could be investigated. Patients could leave. I could be closed down!”

Infection control — the topic of this morning’s seminar — is why you’re here, too.

Like most of the dentists in the room, you’ve been making an annual pilgrimage to this conference to learn about the latest infection risks, updated guidelines from organizations like the CDC and OSHA, and modern tools and practices to fight

the spread of infection in your dental office. But unlike most of the dentists in the room, this year, the seminar is really just a refresher course for you. You’ve been learning everything you need to know to keep your practice compliant and safe through a single online portal.

Just as the seminar is about to begin, you decide to have mercy on the young dentist to your right.

“Let’s grab a coffee after this” — you know you’re going to need another jolt of caffeine soon — “I’ll fill you in on GreenLight Dental Compliance Center™ by Hu-Friedy. It’s why things like this,” you whisper, gesturing around the conference room, “don’t freak me out that much.”

Page 3: AR YOU? - Hu-Friedy · on treating patients and growing their businesses. As a result, infection control responsibilities can fall to dental assistants, who may have been trained

Compliance is Misunderstood We surveyed more than 300 dental professionals* and asked, “How effective are your infection control practices?” Over 90 percent rated their infection control practices “very effective” or “extremely effective.” That’s a lot of confidence — enough to make you think most American dental practices are doing exactly what they need to do to keep their staff and patients safe from infection and to comply with regulations.

But when we asked more specific questions, the results were revealing. A large percentage of dental practices may think they’re complying with infection control guidelines, but in reality, they’re failing to implement all the protocols the guidelines and regulations call for. Our survey’s surprising results included these bombshells:

Nearly 30 percent of respondents are still hand-scrubbing their instruments.

33 percent are not using internal chemical indicators in each package to be sterilized.

Over 20 percent are not performing weekly biologically monitoring on each sterilizer.

“Loose on a tray” is the most common method of transporting contaminated instruments.

Guidelines are Confusing We also found that most dental practices look to OSHA for their infection control standards. This is a good idea, especially since OSHA can audit your practice and fine you for non-compliance. But OSHA’s focus is on workplace safety. It doesn’t have

much to say about infection control and protections for patients.

That’s where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines come in. Wherever your practice is located, the CDC guidelines are the standard of care, and they are the guidelines to which you will be held accountable if a breach occurs. Every state also has its own infection control rules. Some states follow the CDC guidelines — effectively making them law — while other states take things a step further.

However, hunting down the infection control regulations in your state can be cumbersome and confusing. And many dentists are simply too busy, focused on treating patients and growing their businesses. As a result, infection control responsibilities can fall to dental assistants, who may have been trained with outdated or spotty information, kept in well-worn binders passed down from one generation of assistants to the next.

And yet, as dental practices see more and more patients, the risk of infection increases, and with it, the risk of costly fines and embarrassing incidents.

How GreenLight Helps We created GreenLight because infection control is serious. GreenLight provides everything needed to manage, maintain, and improve infection prevention compliance — all in a convenient online

portal. If your practice is in Kansas, GreenLight will tell you how to comply in Kansas. If you’re in Connecticut, you’ll learn the rules of the Nutmeg State.

GreenLight isn’t just about learning the regulations, either. It can help your practice master them, with features that allow you to:

Set up personalized protocols quickly and easily, based on your answers to questions about your current procedures.

Self-assess your compliance through an easy-to-use audit system.

Access training resources like videos, product information and safety data sheets, and insights on the infection control/prevention coordinator role.

Each new GreenLight member also receives a free consultation with Hu-Friedy’s team of experts, who will answer any questions that may arise as you create and implement your new infection control protocols.

Why We Created GreenLight

…in reality, they’re failing to implement all the protocols the guidelines call for.

GreenLightComplianceCenter.com

…hunting down the infection control regulations in your state can be cumbersome and confusing.

* Hu-Friedy engaged The Key Group, an independent third-party market research company, to survey dental professionals on their infection control practices.

Page 4: AR YOU? - Hu-Friedy · on treating patients and growing their businesses. As a result, infection control responsibilities can fall to dental assistants, who may have been trained

©2018 Hu-Friedy Mfg. Co., LLC. All rights reserved. [954] GL-009/1018

Hu-Friedy Mfg. Co., LLC: 3232 N. Rockwell St. | Chicago, IL 60618 | USA Telephone: 1-800-Hu-Friedy (1-773-975-6100) | Website: GreenLightComplianceCenter.com

That never occurred to me!” exclaims the young dentist, nearly launching a mouthful of scalding coffee in your direction. “I think you just saved my practice.”

The two of you are sitting in a buzzing coffee shop just across the street from the convention center. You just told the rookie dentist about the CDC standard for colony forming units (CFUs) in dental unit water, one of the many infection control practices you discovered through GreenLight.

“And that’s not all,” you say. “Research shows if left untreated, a new waterline’s microbial count can reach 200,000 CFUs/mL after just five days.”

You watch the realization dawn across the face of the young dentist.

“What else am I missing?”

You glance at your watch. You didn’t expect to be leading an impromptu one-on-one infection control workshop of your own at this conference. You’re reaching the bottom of your second latte of the day, and a keynote session is starting soon. You’d really love to have a decent seat this time.

“Actually, I can’t tell you for sure because it depends on your state,” you explain, eager to be on your way. “If you register for GreenLight, your compliance portal will have that for you. You can test your current procedures against your protocols and learn how to make up the difference in any area in which you fall short.”

“Wow, this really sounds like the kind of thing I’ve been looking for since I started practicing,” the young dentist says. “I’m going to check out that GreenLight website as soon as I get a chance. You’re getting another latte to go? This one’s on me.”

You gratefully take her up on her offer. It seems like you made a friend for life — and maybe saved a few patients and dental staff members from infections.

By putting all the information and tools you need in one place, GreenLight will help you and your entire dental team — new and veteran staff, alike — understand and maintain your compliance. To learn more about how to join the program and to get started on a better path to compliance, visit us at

GreenLightComplianceCenter.com

Many dentists think their practices are compliant with infection control standards, but most are not. Here are some of the most frequent culprits:

IMPROPERLY TRANSPORTING INSTRUMENTS. If you move instruments from the operatory to the sterilization area, they should be placed in a puncture resistant container that is appropriately labeled or color-coded and leakproof on the sides and bottom.

INADEQUATE STERILIZATION MONITORING. The CDC states that each package to be sterilized has an internal chemical indicator and that biological monitoring be performed on each sterilizer once a week with the test results recorded.

LACK OF A WATERLINE MAINTENANCE PROGRAM. Dental unit waterlines can become breeding grounds for infectious bacteria. You should perform daily maintenance to prevent organic deposits and scale, regular cleaning to remove bacterial biofilms microbial contamination and testing your water to ensure you meet the guidelines for safe water.

NO BREACH PREPAREDNESS PLAN. Patients are learning more about what dentists should be doing to prevent infection; they’re noticing deficiencies and asking questions. If a breach does occur, it’s critical you have a plan to let staff and patients know how you will address its cause and ensure the breach doesn’t happen again. Even if a breach doesn’t occur in your office. It helps to be prepared when patients ask you questions.

NO INFECTION CONTROL COORDINATOR. The CDC says every office should have a dedicated infection control coordinator. But often whoever is assigned this role lacks the time and resources to do it properly.

What Are You Missing?