Blog Posts

Grow Together with Performance Reviews

Friday, December 23rd, 2022

Have you scheduled performance reviews with your team members? This is a great time to conduct your evaluation of the employee's achievements and contributions made during year 2022 and to assess the areas to improve during year 2023.

Another Dentist in Hot Water for a HIPAA Violation Due to Responding to an Online Review

Monday, December 19th, 2022

On December 14, 2022, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a settlement with a dental practice in California over the impermissible disclosure of patient protected health information (PHI) in response to online reviews, and other potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule. The practice used social media inappropriately responding to a negative...

What Your Work Exposure Control Plan Is, and How to Review It As a Team Annually

Thursday, December 1st, 2022

Your Work Exposure Control Plan is essentially one of the most important parts of your OSHA Manual, and it needs to be reviewed by everyone at the practice annually. Consider taking time to review the Work Exposure Control Plan as a team when you have your annual training. 

Tuition Payback Agreements - Protect Your Employee Investment

Friday, November 25th, 2022

Let’s face it, many practices are struggling with the staffing shortage. Those who are employed are likely working doubly hard, handling the duties of two people.  It may be difficult to recruit RDHs and RDAs right now; particularly those who have added skills.  

Sharps Containers: The Point of Compliance

Monday, November 21st, 2022

One of the “small” details that is a big deal to OSHA is sharps containers. In some practices we at MPS have inspected, we’ve found sharps containers in places like cabinets, treatment room corners, and on countertops. OSHA has standards for sharps containers that if left unfollowed could result in costly OSHA fines. Since disposal is usually the main occasion for contaminated needle sticks to happen (according to CDC’s Workbook for Designing, Implementing, and Evaluating a Sharps Injury Prevention Program,) OSHA pays close attention to how sharps containers are placed and handled. 

The Right Space: Setting Up an Efficient Sterilization Center

Saturday, November 19th, 2022

Did you know that the way your Sterilization Center is set up could save you 5+ minutes per procedure and set your practice apart in infection control? Laying out your Sterilization area efficiently puts your practice in the fast lane on the road to success. Take an honest look at your practice’s Sterilization Center and compare to the layout ideas below:

The Great Escape: Having a Fire and Emergency Action Plan

Thursday, November 17th, 2022

Does everyone at the practice know the drill if there were to be a natural disaster or emergency? It’s a great idea (and required by OSHA) to have a Fire and Emergency Action Plan in place that everyone at the practice knows and would instantly adhere to if there were a natural disaster or fire. 

SDS Organization and Optimization Made Easy!

Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

One of the things we’ve noticed over the years in visiting different practice’s is the state of their SDS binder. We often see what we refer to as “Frankenbinders,” which have chunks missing, pieces of unrelated materials added, and an overall disarray of pages. When you look at it, it gives you feelings of dread and procrastination and you definitely wouldn’t want OSHA to see it if they were to drop by unannounced. 

Safety Coordinators and Privacy/Security Officers Defined, and Why Your Practice Needs Them

Sunday, November 13th, 2022

The average dental practice is extremely busy in trying to keep up with patient and treatment schedules. So for many practice staff, the thought of keeping up with both OSHA and HIPAA compliance is overwhelming. This is why it is vital to have designated officers that can handle these components. 

Post Exposure Management: What to Do When an Incident Occurs

Friday, November 11th, 2022

Over the years, we’ve received quite a few phone calls with desperate and worried persons on the other end of the line telling us that there has been a needlestick incident in their practice and they have no idea what to do next. This is definitely not a fun predicament to be in, but it’s important to keep your head and take the appropriate steps to ensure that you’re following OSHA’s standards. Don’t be intimidated by the forms and the protocol. You can do this. 

Questions to Ask When Interviewing an IT Company to Serve Your Practice

Wednesday, November 9th, 2022

Everyone knows that having the right IT company to serve your practice is acutely important, but how do you choose the right one? Asking the right questions will clarify whether or not the IT company you’re interviewing will meet your needs in the ever-advancing world of technology and security threats. Let’s explore some questions that you can use as your framework.

How to Choose a Safety Coordinator for Your Practice

Monday, November 7th, 2022

Every practice needs a person who is in charge of keeping the practice OSHA-compliant and safe. This person needs to be onsite at the practice for most of the time when the practice and/or specific location is open. For example: if you are a practice that has multiple locations open at the same time, you’ll need to find one safety coordinator per location. If OSHA were to drop by unannounced, they are going to ask to see your safety coordinator. If OSHA hears “he/she doesn’t work at this location,” or “he/she is only here on Thursdays,” that won’t satisfy.

Emergency Eyewash Stations

Saturday, November 5th, 2022

Notes: When treating patients, corrosive chemicals and debris and even splash and splatter from the patient’s oral cavity can end up in unprotected eyes. Because of this, it’s vital that an emergency eyewash station is nearby and up to OSHA’s standards. If you’re wondering if your practice even merits having one in the first place, OSHA answers you with a clear and resounding “YES”: 

Different Ways of Disposing of Sharps

Thursday, November 3rd, 2022

A part of the OSHA Manual that is often overlooked is the Waste Management section. Disposing of used sharps properly is essential, and there are different ways of doing that. Before getting into those options, here is a refresher on instruments classified as sharps:

Creating a Human Firewall in Your Practice

Tuesday, November 1st, 2022

Not sure what the term “Human Firewall” means? A lot of people don’t. But as the idea and practice of a human firewall gains more and more recognition and effectiveness, now is a great time to implement this in your practice.

Basically, a human firewall is a team of employees (all of them) within a business that commit to following practices to prevent and/or report suspicious online activity such as phishing emails, ransomware, data breaches, or anything that looks questionable in terms of the practice’s online security. This means that the entire team is trained in keeping the network secure. 

Clearing Up Questions About Spill Kits

Sunday, October 30th, 2022

Two support questions we receive quite often are: what is the difference between an Infectious Spill Kit and Chemical Spill Kit, and what products do we need to maintain those kits?

The difference between an Infectious Spill Kit and a Chemical Spill Kit is basically what they’re used for. 

Business Associate Agreements: From “What?” to “Done!”

Friday, October 28th, 2022

The saying “it takes a village” doesn’t only apply to raising children – there are many other businesses that keep your practice running successfully that cannot be in-house or self-supplied. This is essentially what business associates are. Here’s the more technical version: A business associate is a person or entity who performs functions or activities on behalf of or provides services to a covered entity that involves access to PHI.  The HIPAA Rules require that the Business Associate will appropriately safeguard PHI.  

Tuition Payback Agreements - Protect Your Employee Investment

Wednesday, October 26th, 2022

Let’s face it, many practices are struggling with the staffing shortage. Those who are employed are likely working doubly hard, handling the duties of two people.  It may be difficult to recruit RDHs and RDAs right now; particularly those who have added skills.  

Is a level 3 mask and face shield equivalent to wearing a N95?

Thursday, December 9th, 2021

A surgical mask is fluid-resistant and provides protection against large droplets, splashes, or sprays. The N95 respirator is effective against small particle aerosols and large droplets.

The surgical mask is loose-fitting and leakage occurs around the edge of the mask when the user inhales. The N95 respiratory is tight-fitting. When properly fitted and donned, minimal leakage occurs. CDC published the Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Healthcare Personnel During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic, updated September 20, 2021. 1 In this guidance, CDC recommends implementing the universal use of personal protective equipment for healthcare personnel.

Clear as Mud? Understanding the KN-95 Suspension by FDA

Friday, July 16th, 2021

There is much confusion over FDA suspending the Emergency Use Authorization on KN95s. Keep in mind that the Chinese version of N95s do not meet US standards.

Since supplies of N95s are readily available, we can no longer use the KN95s. They are not NIOSH-approved. Even if the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) does not apply because dental offices are not hospital-based, they are screening all non-employees for COVID symptoms and they prohibiting seeing suspicious COVID or confirmed COVID, they still come under CDC’s guidance.