How To Handle Infection Control Breaches In Your Dental Practice

Mistakes happen every day in dental practices. Often times, these mistakes can lead to infection control breaches that can put you, your practice and your patients at risk.

Infection control breaches occur in a variety of ways, some with minimal consequences and others with disastrous ones. Did you know that the 5 most common infection control breaches include:hand washing, hand piece sterilization, proper processing, water lines, and open communication? The most common infection control breaches occur in the smallest of mistakes and are often related to dental hygiene.

As the CEO and leader of your practice, it is critical that you know the types of infection control breaches that are most common in dental practices, are educated on the best dental hygiene practices to reduce the likelihood of these breaches and have a clear plan in place to handle potential infection control breaches.

It doesn’t end there, however. Empowering your team with this information is imperative to ensure that the entire team is using best practices to help avoid potential infection control breaches and keep the practice and it’s patients safe.

So often, dental practices are not providing (or updating) dental hygiene protocols within the practice and something as simple as hand washing can lead to a big infection control breach. Meet as a team regularly to review and discuss your practice’s dental hygiene protocols and implement an accountability system within the practice to ensure that all team members are committed to these policies and understand the consequences of not following best hygiene practices.

Another must-have in your practice to best handle infection control breaches is a clear plan and protocol that illustrates what to do IF your practice does encounter an infection control breach. A clearly laid out plan will help you and your team jump into empowered action quickly to help minimize exposure and increase the risk to the practice.

The CDC has created a powerful step-by-step action plan that breaks down the steps you and your team need to take should a potential infection control breach make itself known in your dental practice. Taking the time to review this action list often with your team, and perhaps modify it to include the dental hygiene protocols in your practice, will help to keep this critical information up to date and fresh in the minds of you and your team.  

Being empowered with information around infection control breaches and educating your team on how to avoid and plan for a potential infection control breach is crucial to protecting your practice, team, and patients.   Not being empowered or having these tools in place is not only dangerous and unfair to your patients but it puts you and your practice at enormous risk.

Our team at the NextLevel would love to help you in your dental service efforts. We can help you create effective educational materials to create client awareness with the New Patient Engine platform. Check it out today.