A site visit on March 5 by the Bureau of Infectious Disease Control resulted in the suspension of a New Hampshire dentist’s license.
According to the suspension order, the dentist reported on Feb. 16 that he breached infection-control protocols by using non-sterilized instruments on at least four patients.
He stated the instruments in question were in a sterilization package and placed in an autoclave for sterilization; however the indicators on the package didn’t change color, which would have indicated successful sterilization. A second package with the same indication was found in office waste.
During the site visit that spurred the suspension, authorities noted the practice:
- Had no infection-control coordinator
- Lacked infection-control policies
- Staff had difficulty answering the majority of infection-control questions.
The investigation is ongoing.
“This is the exact reason we offer infection-control training online to all our clients,” says Smart Training Vice President for Healthcare Lee Slaton. “Our compliance advisors in the field see too many instances where infection control and exposure control protocols are not kept top-of-mind. It’s typically not “sins of commission” we see. It’s more the “sins of omission,” Slaton notes. “In the military, when several accidents occur in a short time span, it has a “stand down” safety review day. We encourage all our practices to do that periodically; but in a proactive, rather than reactive, way.”
With all of the moving parts of a practice, there are too many opportunities for small—yet critical—processes to fall between cracks.
Where does a practice begin its quest to be up-to-speed on infection control protocols?
*for TDA members