A Message from Advanced Dental
Training and Educating Our Team
- Our team has had refresher training in proper hand washing techniques. This may seem basic; however, it is the most important thing we can do to prevent spread of the virus.
- They have practiced the appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) prior to caring for a patient to prevent contamination.
- We encourage staff members who are not feeling well to proactively stay home for two weeks. (We have a backup team if someone is ill.)
- We have everyone in the office take their temperature at the beginning of every day and we will immediately send home anyone with an elevated temperature (100.2 F and above).
- We have created a specific checklist of recommendations for our team to follow so that they arrive to work healthy and go home to their families without worry. (see Checklist of Recommendations for Our Team)
Recommendations for Our Team
Before Coming to work:
- Take temperature (do not go in to work if you or any other family member are experiencing symptoms, cough, sore throat, fever, etc.)
- Remove watch and rings and leave at home
- Tie hair up. Keep nails short
- Avoid extra accessories
- Place phone in a Ziplock bag that you will discard at the end of the day
- If bringing lunch, place in disposable wrapping
- Bring clean work clothes in a washable bag (i.e. pillowcase)
- Change into scrubs and work shoes (preferably wipeable) as soon as you arrive
- Use PPE as appropriate
- Leave all clutter (pens, phones, etc.) outside of patient areas
- We discourage staff from using other workers’ phones, desks, offices, and other work tools and equipment when possible.
- Clean phone handset after use
- Remove PPE as trained.
- Wash hands and arms with soap.
- Remove scrubs and place in laundry bin.
- Wash hands again and put clean clothes on
- Sanitize phone, glasses, etc.
- Wash hands again
- Do not touch anything once you arrive home from work
- Remove shoes and clothes
- Wash clothes in washing machine with detergent and hot water
- Shower immediately with soap and water before touching anything (including loved ones and pets)
Hand hygiene is performed by our staff
- Before and after all patient contact, contact with potentially infections material, and before putting on and after removing personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves.
- After removing PPE in order to remove any pathogens that might have been transferred to bare hands during the removal process.
- Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Personal Protective Equipment
- Wear PPE (masks (N-95 or KN-95), gloves, cap, eye protection, face shields, gowns)
- Eye Protection
- Put on eye protection (i.e. goggles or a face shield that covers the front and sides of the face) upon entry to the patient operatory.
- Remove eye protection before leaving the patient operatory.
- Reusable eye protection must be cleaned and disinfected according to manufacturer’s instructions prior to re-use.
- Put on clean, non-sterile gloves upon entry into the patient operatory.
- Change gloves if they become torn or heavily contaminated.
- Remove and discard gloves when leaving patient operatory and immediately perform hand hygiene.
- Put on a clean isolation gown upon entry into the patient operatory.
- Change the gown if it becomes soiled. Remove and discard the gown in a dedicated container for waste or linen before leaving the patient operatory. Disposable gowns should be discarded and cloth gowns should be laundered after each use.
- Gowns should be prioritized for all aerosol-generating procedures and during activities where splashes and sprays are anticipated.
Patient Interviews and Social Distancing
Before patient arrival, every effort is made to
- Filter patients during the phone call when scheduling appointments for care using established and recommended screening checklists and scripts to recognize potential carriers.
- Reschedule patients who show any signs of a cough or fever or who describe having any concerning warning signs.
- Instruct patients to call ahead and reschedule their appointment if they develop symptoms of a respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, or fever) on the day they are scheduled to be seen
To promote social distancing
- When booking patients, we are spreading out the schedule so there are fewer people in the waiting room (a maximum of two people at a time)
- If a patient is being accompanied, their escort should wait in the car to limit the number of people in the waiting room and promote social distancing.
- Utilizing a “virtual” waiting room: patients can opt to wait in their car or outside the building where they can be contacted by mobile phone when it is their turn to be treated.
Safety measures taken upon arrival
- Post visual alerts (e.g. signs, posters) at the entrance door advising patients of the COVID-19 risk and advising them not to enter the facility when ill
- Provide supplies such as masks, alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) with 60-95% alcohol, tissues, and no-touch receptacles for disposal, in the waiting room and at the check-in and check-out desks.
- Masks may be provided for patients who arrive without one.
- Post photos in the waiting room and throughout the practice to provide patients and HCP (Healthcare Personnel) with instructions about hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette:
- How and when to perform hand hygiene,
- How to use tissues or elbows to cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
- How to dispose of tissues and contaminated items in waste receptacles
ALL these measures can help to prevent transmission to others.
Measures Upon Arrival
- Patients are asked about the presence of symptoms of a respiratory infection and history of travel or contact with possible COVID-19 patients.
- Patients are assessed for respiratory symptoms and fever (with non-contact digital infrared forehead thermometer) and they will be asked to sign a health declaration form.
- If fever temperature of 100.2 F degrees or higher or respiratory symptoms are present, they will be advised to seek medical treatment and their visit will be rescheduled.
- If an examination room is not readily available, ensure social distancing in the waiting room by placing seating a minimum of 6 feet apart.
- We have removed all clutter and anything that is not easily disinfected from the waiting room (i.e. magazines, area rugs, pillows, toys, etc.)
- We perform frequent disinfecting of waiting room, bathroom, door handles, tables, light switches, computers, computer mice, telephones, etc.
Reception Room and Front Desk Safety Measures
- Install physical barriers or partitions (i.e. plexiglass windows) if possible, at reception areas to limit close contact between reception and potentially infectious patients.
- Use tables with forms on clipboards and/or iPads for patient use to fill out forms. Tables, pen, clipboards, and iPads will be disinfected after each use.
Patients in the Operatory
- Healthcare personnel (HCP) should strictly follow basic infection control practices between patients (e.g. hand hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting shared equipment).
- Limit transport and movement of patients outside of the operatory.
- No other team member should enter the room during a procedure and, if necessary, should use PPE as described above.
- Special precautions will be taken when performing Aerosol-Generating Procedures (AGP), in particular procedures that are likely to induce coughing are avoided, if possible.
- Once seated, patients are asked to rinse with Peroxyl rinse before treatment begins.
Protocols After the Clinical Treatment
- All non-disposable medical equipment used for patient care should be cleaned and disinfected according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Ensure that environmental cleaning and disinfection procedures are followed consistently and correctly.
- Routine cleaning and disinfection procedures (e.g. using cleaners and water to pre-clean surfaces prior to applying an EPA-registered, hospital-grade disinfectant to frequently touched surfaces or objects for appropriate contact times as indicated on the product’s label) are appropriate for SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare settings, including those patient-care areas in which aerosol-generating procedures are performed.
Safety Measures After the Visit
- Encourage payments by credit card over the phone to encourage social distancing with the front desk.
- Review of estimates and insurance forms can be carried out via phone call or video conferencing and sent via mail.
We are confident that these guidelines will help to create a safe environment for all of our patients and team members and hope that you can feel secure in the knowledge that we are doing everything in our power to provide the safest clinical conditions in order to protect our patients, our team, and our families.