COVID-19: Patient Safety Comes First.
Safety Precautions We Have Adopted for the Safety of Our Patients & Staff:
Education & Screening
- We have put into place a policy to ask questions about COVID-19 symptoms for patients at our front desk before providing treatment. (Examples: Do you have a fever? Do you have a cough? Are you experiencing shortness of breath? Have you had any of these within the past 14 days? Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19? If so, how long ago?)
- We are using a no-contact device to measure the temperature of all employees and patients when they first arrive.
- We are ensuring that anyone who is experiencing flu-like illnesses and not requiring emergency dental care, including employees, leaves the premises.
- We are ensuring that anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or previously displayed symptoms has fully recovered before working or being seen at our office.
- If a patient is experiencing flu-like illness but requires emergency care, we are following appropriate protocols and using proper PPE.
- Our employees have been fully educated on COVID-19 and policies related to reducing the risk of spreading this virus.
Operation & Office Adjustments
- We have a hand-sanitizing station available for patients and require patients to use it.
- We have no-touch trash receptacles available for patient use at various locations in your office.
- Chairs in our reception area have been placed at least six feet apart.
- Patients are instructed to not bring companions to appointments, except as may be absolutely necessary.
- We have removed items from our office that are touched by multiple people and may not be easily disinfected, such as magazines and toys.
- We have removed pens and paper from all operatories. (All consent forms should be signed at the front desk.)
- For safety, we are not shaking hands with patients.
PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
- We have sufficient inventory of PPE supplies (e.g., surgical masks, face shields, disposable surgical gowns, surgical gloves)
- Our staff wear respiratory protection masks (e.g., N95 or KN95) or surgical masks at all times.
- Masks are changed with each patient.
- Soiled or damaged masks are replaced immediately.
- We are using eye protection with solid side shields or a face shield to protect mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and mouth during procedures likely to generate splashing or spattering of blood or other body fluids.
- We change gloves in between patients.
- We are adhering to the standard sequence of the donning and doffing of PPE, including washing hands after each removal.
- Staff wash hands for at least 20 seconds before putting on gloves.
- Our staff wipe down and properly disinfecting (with EPA-registered disinfectants) countertops, door handles, chairs, pens, bathrooms, etc. routinely throughout the day,
- We clean reusable PPE with soap and water, or if visibly soiled, clean and disinfect reusable facial protective equipment (e.g., dentist and patient protective eyewear or face shields) between patients,
- We are sterilizing all instruments pursuant to standard precautions.
- We disinfect non-dedicated and reusable equipment (e.g., handpieces, dental chair and light) according to instructions from the manufacturer.
- We use barrier plastic wrap on x-ray, light handles, chair switches, computer keyboard and mouse, etc. and changing them between each patient.
- We have hand sanitizer throughout the office with at least 60% vol alcohol
- We have implemented a policy requiring employees to groom and dress in a way that helps reduce the risk of spreading the virus, including proper grooming of facial hair, trimmed nails and no jewelry.
- We have patients use 1.5% hydrogen peroxide or 0.2% povidone for two 30-second rinses or one minute as a mouth rinse before procedures
- If an aerosol-producing procedure is being performed, we are using rubber dams or an ISOLATE type device to help minimize aerosol or spatter.
- We follow CDC recommendations in the event of suspected unintentional exposure.
Below are some informational PDF resource sheets from the CDC: