The Dental Council of NSW has issued an important announcement on the. 7th of November 2018 that it will carry out random infection control audits at dental practices whether or not a practitioner or practice has been subject to a complaint.
“Following a serious infection control breach, identified by the Council in July 2018 at a dental practice in Haberfield, the Council resolved that its policy relating to inspections be reviewed.
The Council is writing to advise of a recent policy change regarding inspections of dental practices for the purpose of ensuring compliance with the Dental Board of Australia’s (the Board’s) infection control guidelines.”
In summary, here’s what you and your practice needs to know:
- Future infection control inspections are to be announced approximately 48 hours prior to the inspection occurring.
- Future infection control inspections will be undertaken regardless of whether a complaint has been received.
- The National Law allows the Authorised Person to
> enter and inspect the premises
> request records be produced
> inspect, take copies of, or extracts or notes from, the records and/or seize the records
> examine and inspect any apparatus or equipment
> take photographs, films or audio, video and other recordings
> require any person on the premises to answer questions or otherwise provide information
TAKE ACTION TODAY.
Ask your entire team and find out, if your practice were to be audited tomorrow, will each team member be completely confident and certain that they are applying the standards set out in the AS/NZS 4815:2006, AS/NZS 4187:2014, and ADA Guidelines for Infection Control (Third Edition) throughout your practice?
Here are some questions that you should be thinking about:
- How do I know if the practice’s policies and procedures are compliant?
- How often should I monitor my practice’s processess and documents?
- Do we meet current compliance recommendations and requirements?
- How do I introduce more efficient sterilisation processes?
- How do I ensure that all clinical staff in the practice are compliant?
The potential financial, emotional, reputational and physical damages incurred by an infection control breach are huge. With most practices achieving an average of 77% compliance rate when audited, the risks are very real and concerning.