Patient safety remains a top priority for practice owners and dental teams; however, the dental office can often be a fast-paced working environment with distractions that can impede best safety practices. To better prevent mishaps, the Joint Commission requires accredited dental practices to implement a timeout before all surgical procedures.
CDA Practice Support has developed the California State Reopening Guide for Dental Practices to help dentists and dental teams understand their responsibilities to maintain a safe environment and communicate with patients about continued COVID-19 safety precautions in the dental office.
As California moves forward with reopening the economy and lifting the statewide mask mandate for fully vaccinated individuals on June 15, dental practice owners should be prepared to communicate to patients that face coverings will still be required in the dental office.
Some dentists are unclear about whether to maintain face covering and social distancing requirements in the dental office following the CDC's updated mask guidance for fully vaccinated people. Cal/OSHA has not yet updated its COVID-19 prevention guidance for dental offices. Protocols for masks and social distancing are still required.
As trusted health professionals, dentists are positioned daily to discuss COVID-19 vaccination with their patients and the public, instill confidence about the COVID-19 vaccine and ultimately influence their patients’ decision-making about the vaccine.
From unvaccinated patients to incomplete health histories, failure to cooperate results in ethical and legal challenges for dentists. In today’s practice environment, these challenges also include navigating interactions with patients who simply refuse to wear face masks.
Dental practices have seen a consistent decrease in patient volume over the last two months. Why business has plateaued after a strong recovery in June and how practice owners can take advantage of this time.
The American Dental Association has released a COVID-19 & Lab Testing Requirements Toolkit to aid dentists who are interested in incorporating rapid point-of-care testing in their practice. To assist members with California-specific requirements, CDA’s Clinical Care Workgroup will release additional POC testing guidance next month.
Dental teams should consider what steps to take if a patient refuses to comply with the practice's increased safety precautions. These recommendations can help practice owners and their teams prepare for difficult conversations and effectively de-escalate tension with uncooperative patients.