The CDC recommends that written policies and procedures for infection prevention and control in dentistry be readily available as indicated in their 2016 Infection Prevention Checklist.1
How would you score?
Use this checklist to see if you have these written CDC infection prevention and safety documents/records on hand.
❑ Written infection prevention policies and procedures specific for the dental setting are available, current and based on evidence-based guidelines, regulations or standards, and these should extend beyond the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard.
❑ Policies and procedures are available for routine monitoring and evaluation of the infection prevention and control program.
❑ Policies, procedures and guidelines for exposure prevention and post-exposure management are available.
❑ Policies, procedures and guidelines outlining safe injection practices are available.
❑ Policies and procedures are available for routine cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces.
❑ Policies are in place for decontamination of spills of blood and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM).
❑ Policies and procedures have been implemented to contain respiratory secretions in people who have signs and symptoms of a respiratory infection, beginning at point of entry to the dental setting.
❑ Policies and procedures are available that ensure patient care instruments and devices are cleaned and reprocessed per manufacturer instructions before reuse.
❑ Manufacturer instructions for reprocessing reusable dental instruments and equipment are readily available, ideally in or near the reprocessing area.
❑ Records are kept on the routine maintenance of sterilization equipment performed according to manufacturer instructions.
❑ Sterilization monitoring logs from each sterilizer cycle are current and include results for each load (i.e., mechanical, chemical, biological monitoring) and comply with state and local regulations. While the CDC has no recommendation for the time these records are to be kept, a minimum of three years seems reasonable (unless state or local regulations differ).
❑ Policies and procedures are in place outlining the dental setting response in the event of an instrument reprocessing error/failure.
❑ Policies and procedures are in place for maintaining dental water quality that meets Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory standards for drinking water.
❑ Policies and procedures are in place for using sterile water as a coolant/irrigant when performing surgical procedures.
❑ Policies and procedures are in place outlining the response to a community boil-water advisory.
❑ A medical waste management program has been developed that complies with federal, state and local regulations
1CDC. Summary of Infection Prevention Practices in Dental Settings: Basic Expectations for Safe Care. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Oral Health; May 2016, Appendix A pp 19-35. Accessed July 2019 at: cdc.gov/oralhealth/infectioncontrol/summary-infection-prevention-practices/index.html.