Having an infection control coordinator can save you money

We already know that infection control is paramount to creating safe dental visits by ensuring the safety of patients and staff. Both OSHA and the CDC also support the role of the ICC, with recommendations that every office should have one on site.

But beyond dental office safety, having an Infection Control Coordinator (ICC) to implement and manage your infection control prevention plan in the office can bring many benefits to your practice.

What are the benefits of an Infection Control Coordinator?

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of hiring a trained ICC or providing training for a team member in your practice that will ultimately lead to cost-saving opportunities.

Save money

An ICC takes care of the maintenance of all equipment and instruments. For most dental practices, purchasing dental equipment is a significant financial expense.

Most of these instruments are made up of smaller parts that can wear out over time with constant use. As they deteriorate, they can become dangerous for patients and users alike. In addition, if something goes wrong with certain equipment or machines, repairs or replacements can be costly.

Minimize risks

The primary responsibility of the ICC is to comply with current infection prevention and safety regulations. Part of this role is to ensure that equipment and supplies are always in top condition through regular equipment maintenance.

The ICC is responsible for reviewing the manufacturer’s sterilization instructions and developing standard operating procedures (SOPs) and infection control guidelines for the team to follow.

Not only can this minimize risk factors, routine maintenance can also extend the life of your instruments, saving you the cost of repairs or the need to replace them when they become potentially hazardous to use.

Training for all staff, including new hires

Another responsibility of the ICC is to become a valuable resource for all things infection control and prevention by providing adequate instructions, information and training to all staff.

This aspect of the job helps ensure that your employees are proficient in performing their specific tasks, while also reinforcing the importance of following these protocols in their day-to-day work.

Minimize workplace accidents and injuries

When you have an vigilant and close-knit team working together to prevent infection, you can rest assured that your practice is providing the highest level of care for your patients. Accidents and injuries can be minimized, providing time and cost saving benefits and a safer working environment.

And should there be an accident involving one of your patients, and if you have followed the protocols and SOPs, you will not have to have as many awkward or embarrassing conversations, which could end up jeopardizing your reputation and costing business and money. can lose your office.

Keep office downtime to a minimum

An ICC can keep your practice running like a well-oiled machine with standard written procedures. So even if someone is sick or on vacation, your clinic can still operate as another skilled member of staff can step in and perform the duties.

No downtime is required, so you can continue to meet the needs of your patients.

Comply with state laws

Training, monitoring, documentation and enforcement of infection protocols are the responsibilities of an ICC. Documentation includes keeping a strict record of your infection control plan in the office, exposure reports, personnel records, including training, vaccinations, etc., all of which may be requested from you during state board audits.

Without an ICC, you could scramble to compile all this documentation in the hopes nothing is wrong or risk a hefty fine that could also tarnish your reputation. But if you have an ICC, they have all the necessary paperwork ready and can even suppress any questions from auditors.

Authoritative bodies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have standards and recommendations that necessitate continuous optimization of infection control processes.

Increase patient referrals

With the support of a competent, well-trained ICC, you can rest assured that the safety of your dental practice is always in accordance with state council regulations. Your patients can also rest assured that the utmost attention is paid to their safety and well-being at all times.

Safe dental visits are likely to lead to an increase in patient referrals. In addition, an ICC can also help your practice save valuable time and money. If you are considering appointing an ICC to your office, whether to improve the safety of the clinic or take advantage of the time and cost saving benefits, there must also be adequate training and empowerment to provide qualified individuals. develop that eat, breathe and live for infection prevention and control.

Michelle strange

Michelle Strange, MSDH, RDH, brings more than 20 years of experience in her numerous roles in dentistry. She is a graduate of the Medical University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in health sciences and the University of Bridgeport with a master’s degree in dental hygiene education. She is focused on expanding her colleagues’ knowledge in all aspects of healthcare. Strange’s passion for dentistry and its connection to overall health extends to her community and global efforts. She is currently the co-founder and co-host of the longest-running dental hygienist podcast, A Tale of Two Hygienists, the co-founder of Level Up Infection Prevention and TriviaDent, a practicing dental hygienist, and customer success manager for MouthWatch.

photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

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