Blog Posts

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.

Easy (and Compliant!) SDS Organization

Friday, July 16th, 2021

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.

FDA Revokes KN-95 Emergency Use Authorization

Friday, July 16th, 2021

During the shortage of N95 filtering facepiece respirators, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization of KN95s. KN95s stands for the regulatory standard for filtering facepiece respirators that are certified in China and are not NIOSH-approved.

Flowable Space: Setting Up an Efficient Sterilization Center

Friday, July 16th, 2021

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:

OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard for Occupational Exposure to COVID-19 and the Meaning of GRAVE DANGER

Friday, July 16th, 2021

As many of you are aware, OSHA published the Emergency Temporary Standard known as ETS. Generally, dental offices are not subject to ETS if they can answer ALL 3 OF THESE CONDITIONS AS “YES”:

The Ins and Outs of Donning and Doffing PPE

Friday, July 16th, 2021

Did you know that your policies should include PPE donning and doffing procedures? When it comes to PPE, the sequence of donning and doffing is just as important as the PPE you’re wearing. Following the proper sequence can save you time and aid your efforts in fighting the spread of infection.

OSHA’s New Standard: Are You Taking This Information Seriously?

Friday, July 16th, 2021

OSHA officially published the Occupational Exposure to COVID-19 – Emergency Temporary Standard. According to OSHA, for the first time in 50 years, OSHA faces a new hazard so grave that it has killed nearly 600,000 people in the U.S. in barely a year and infected millions more. OSHA also reported that as of May 24th, over 491,816 health care workers contracted COVID-19 and more than 1,600 of the workers died.

Does OSHA’s New COVID-19 Workplace Regulations Apply to Your Practice?

Friday, July 16th, 2021

OSHA published the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on June 10th.

https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/safework

This standard generally does NOT apply to your dental office IF you meet ALL of the following conditions:

OSHA’s Deal for Fully-Vaccinated Practices

Friday, July 16th, 2021

On January 29, 2021, OSHA issued stronger guidance on helping employers implement a COVID-19 prevention program. OSHA has a National Emphasis Program for COVID-19. The Primary Target Industries include healthcare such as dentist offices and doctor offices.

Compliance involves assessment of the hazard, identification of control measures, implementation of policies, and training employees. According to Larry McGowan, Supervisory Industrial Hygienist at OSHA’s Office of Health Enforcement, if a dental office receives a programmed inspection and all of the employees are vaccinated against COVID-19, likely the inspection would terminate.

Are Respirator Medical Evaluations Required Annually?

Thursday, July 15th, 2021

OSHA has temporarily suspended annual medical evaluations during COVID due to shortage of respirators.

CDC indicates the following regarding medical evaluations: