Who Provides Consent for Foster Kids in Tennessee?

Tuesday, August 29th, 2023

In dentistry, we know that informed consent allows patients to make decisions in their dental care. We are aware that parents and legal guardians provide consent for minors. But the question arises, who provides consent for minors who are in foster homes?

Deadly Fungus Among Us

Tuesday, July 25th, 2023

There is a deadly fungus among us!  Recently we learned more about Candida auris at the OSAP meeting.  Candida auris (C. auris) is a deadly fungus that spreads in healthcare settings.  It can be carried on the patient’s skin and spread to others.

How to Get Rid of a Lousy Dental Patient

Tuesday, June 27th, 2023

It may sound redundant, but we cannot please every patient we serve. Although the majority of the individuals we serve may be great patients and contribute to you having a wonderful day at work, the reality is there’s those one or two who make our lives miserable. It’s the rude, disruptive patient who has unrealistic expectations.  They don’t comply with your recommendations and then blame you for unfavorable results. They fail to keep appointments. They don’t pay their bill. And somehow you are the target.

Air Quality in a Dental Office

Tuesday, June 20th, 2023

As air quality has been a major headline topic lately in the eastern U.S. and Canada, it is a major consideration for the dental practice as well. The scientific community has made a committed emphasis on indoor air quality of medical and dental facilities since the 1960s, and now with airborne infections becoming a critical focus, there have been new developments in ensuring that your practice’s air is clean and healthy for both the patients and its workers.

Florida Health Center Fails to Provide Auxiliary Aides and Services to Caretaker, Settles with HHS

Tuesday, June 13th, 2023

As of May 10, 2023, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) entered into a Voluntary Resolution Agreement with a Florida healthcare clinic to resolve a disability discrimination complaint based on Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Are You Aware of the "Look Who Died" Facebook Scheme?

Tuesday, June 6th, 2023

There are several social media scams where hackers gain access to your social media accounts, remove your business name, and you from it altogether. If you see a message sent from a friend that seems unusual or "phishy" with titles such as "Did you see this?!" or "Look who died," do not open the link. Make sure your passwords are updated and difficult to crack.

Is Your Website in Compliance With HIPAA?

Tuesday, May 30th, 2023

Most practices maintain a website. According to the Office of Civil Rights, if you maintain a website, you are required to make available your Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP). According to 45 CFR 164.520(c)(3), "(i) A covered entity that maintains a web site that provides information about the covered entity's customer services or benefits must prominently post its notice on the web site and make the notice available electronically through the web site."  

How Often Should You Update the Health History?

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

You can likely recall an experience where a patient forgot to tell you they had a heart attack or other major illness since the last time they visited your office. Good thing you took the time to make an inquiry of any changes in their health history! 

Should a Hygienist or RDA serve as HIPAA Officer?

Thursday, April 27th, 2023

This is a great question. We appreciate anyone willing to serve in compliance capacities in a practice. First, let's establish that the role and designation of the HIPAA Privacy Officer and the role of the HIPAA Security Officer may be combined into one designation as the HIPAA Compliance Officer in smaller practices.  However, compliance with the Privacy Rule versus the Security Rule is a bit different. 

Are You Traveling This Summer With Your Practice Laptop?

Thursday, April 13th, 2023

Are you planning to travel with your practice laptop this year? Here are some interesting statistics for you to take into account.

Is Annual Fit Testing Required for N95s?

Tuesday, April 4th, 2023

Are we required to conduct annual fit testing if we wear N95s?

It depends. If you require the use of respirators, you must provide annual fit testing.

Do we need a SDS on Clorox bleach, Windex and Cascade?

Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

Household products are excluded from the Hazard Communication Standard providing that these items are not used in excess of household use, used in a different form or concentration or manner generally used by the average consumer.

Dollar General Faces Hefty Fines for Safety Violations

Tuesday, March 28th, 2023

Ever notice how jammed packed Dollar General Stores can be? Dollar General faced $1.68 million in fines after safety inspectors found violations in stores located in AL, FL and GA. Fire hazards were noted, such as failure to keep exit routes and electrical panels clear and unobstructed and failure to mount fire extinguishers. 

Inventory Control

Tuesday, March 21st, 2023

Over ordering can result in pushing the practice over budget and risk expiration of products prior to use. Not having enough supplies leads to frustration especially when you reach for a product only to find an empty shelf. How do we implement good inventory control?

Should a Pregnant Employee Take Radiographs?

Wednesday, March 15th, 2023

If a pregnant dentist, dental assistant, or dental hygienist must take patient radiographs, it is recommended that you provide a personal dosimetry badge to track her exposure to radiation, according to the ADA. Provide barrier protection while operating radiographic equipment.

What Happens if a Patient Refuses to Sign the HIPAA Form?

Monday, March 13th, 2023

The law requires that we ask the patient to acknowledge receipt of the Notice of Privacy Practices. The law does not require the patient to sign the “acknowledgment of receipt of the notice.” Signing does not mean that the patient agreed to any special uses or disclosures of the patient’s records.  Refusing to sign the acknowledgement does not prevent you from using or disclosing health information as HIPAA permits.

Are You Discriminating Employees Based on Hair Style?

Tuesday, March 7th, 2023

Is your HR policy discriminating employees based on hair style and hair texture? Years ago, it was common for HR policies to include a provision prohibiting extreme hairstyles. Perceived as “extreme” hairstyles included afros, dreadlocks, cornrows, braids and twists.  

Threat-Actors and Online Banking – How to Be Careful

Tuesday, February 14th, 2023

Are you aware the FBI warned of search engine ads when you search for your bank online? 

Is Your Dental License Current?

Tuesday, February 14th, 2023

Quite a number of support calls and cases have come through with the problem of RDAs and RDHs licenses lapsed. This results in fines and penalties for both the RDA, RDH, and the owner/dentist.

The Benefits of Using Cassettes

Tuesday, February 7th, 2023

Olivia has personally been a fan of the Hufriedy IMS cassette system for many years. Why? Number one, the cassette system promotes safety. By handling the contaminated instruments less, the assistants and hygienists are less likely to have a sharps injury.  If we can minimize the risk of an exposure incident, we have accomplished two things: 1) employees feel safer, and 2) we minimized the added costs of post exposure management.