Dental Hand Hygiene Compliance And Why It Matters

Are you and your dental team following hand hygiene best practices?

Staying diligent in your dental office when it comes to hand hygiene is imperative to maintaining a clean and safe practice for your team and patients. Hand hygiene is considered one of, if not the most, critical step in infection control. In fact, the most common infection control breaches are the result of inadequate hand washing.

That is why hand hygiene needs to be a common practice and point of conversation within the team and leaders of your practice; all working together to stay up to date in hand hygiene compliance.

Below are powerful hand hygiene practices that every dental practice should be doing to keep the risk of infection control breaches at bay. 

  • Review the infection control plan for your dental practice. Make sure hand hygiene is included and that your practice policies reflect the latest regulations in hand hygiene compliance. Don’t have an infection control plan? See our previous blog here that will help you create one. 
  • Make hand hygiene compliance part of your team’s Infection Control Club itinerary. At routine meetings have team club members educate other team members on hand hygiene best practices, provide updates on hand hygiene compliance policies, create fun hand hygiene goals with fun rewards and bonuses to keep team motivated and inspired to stay aware of their hand hygiene efforts. 

Aren’t sure what an Infection Control Club is? Head over to our previous blog that breaks it all down for you… here!

  • Keep communication open with your team when it comes to identifying potential roadblocks to hand hygiene compliance. An open door communication policy can help the team identify potentials risk quickly and provide preemptive solutions to help reduce risks considerably.
  • Encourage everyone in your office to be part of the hand hygiene effort! Post bright and colorful signage around the dental office that illustrates hand hygiene best practices (i.e. hand washing, proper glove care, hand sanitizer use, etc).  These bold and consistent signs will help team members and patients stay accountable for keeping their hands healthy and clean. 
  • Place hand sanitizers and latex gloves in designated areas of the practices that are best for hand hygiene. You can also place these items next to the signage (above) for a greater impact. Ideal locations to place these items include bathrooms, waiting rooms, front desks, by each door, etc). An important note here to always keep your hand hygiene items stocked! 

These are simple practices that will go far in your efforts to keep you and your team accountable with hand hygiene compliance and maintain a clean, safe and healthy practice.  

Give these practices a try and let us know it goes. Don’t forget to post those hand hygiene signs around your practice.  

Don’t have signage? 

Download this one from the CDC.