SAFETY and INFECTION CONTROL PROTOCOLS
To our valued patients,
We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. As per our re-opening letter last week (if you did not receive it…you can find it here), we wanted to follow up with details about our new Safety and Infection Control Protocols and Office Protective Equipment we have installed to assure our patients’ and staff’s well-being.
In order to do this, we have established the following protocols and protective measures:
Staff and Administrative Controls
- All doctors and staff are screened each morning by our newly implemented Infection Control Coordinator (ICC). Temperature, oxygen saturation, and symptom-screening is performed. Anyone exhibiting symptoms or a high temperature will be sent home.
- All doctors and staff are required to wear a mask at all times while in the office.
- Enhanced patient screening is now being done at time of phone confirmation of their appointment.
- Patients will also be physically screened in our Welcome Kiosk (outside our hallway). This will include signing of a brief health questionnaire, as well as bio metric monitoring (temperature/oxygen saturation).
- Patients will be provided with hand sanitizer at our Welcome Kiosk. We will also offer to sanitize any personal items (i.e – cell phones) and provide you with a carrying bag for any loose personal items.
- We have a large reception area and will cap the number of patients in the area at one time to three.
- With the exception of parent’s, nurses, or aids, accompanying guests will be asked to remain in their cars.
- Patients are required to wear masks (cloth masks acceptable) when entering and exiting.
- We are scheduling in a manner that will minimize the number of patients in the office at any one time.
- A tele-medicine system for consults and post-op checks has been implemented.
- Support animals will require a certified ESA letter signed by their physician
Infection Control/Aerosol Control
- All items have been removed from reception/operatory tabletop areas to allow for more effective cleaning and disinfection. A commercial sanitation company has been hired to disinfect our office space nightly.
- We have doubled the allotted ‘room turnover time’ to give our assistants ample time to thoroughly clean and disinfect each room after a procedure and reinforced our already rigid infection control protocols. We use only FDA COVID-19 certified viricidal agents.
- Strict aerosol control measures and safety equipment have been implemented and will now be part of any aerosol generating procedure (including cleanings).
- We have always routinely used our High-Volume Evacuator (HVE) suction during any aerosol generating procedure. The HVE alone, when used properly, has been shown to eliminate 90% of aerosolized particles. However, since our goal is to get as close as possible to 100% reduction, we will also be using intra-oral and extra-oral suction appliances as adjuncts.
Air Filtration and Purification
Infection Control and Social Discipline Staff Education
- We have joined and started the process to get our doctors, staff, and facility, trained and certified through OSAP (Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Prevention), a global organization of clinicians and researches focused on providing continuing education and training to promote safety in the dental office. As such, we are now active participants in The Safest Dental Visit, a collaborative effort to support an increased commitment to infection control and safety in dentistry, and begun continued education and training programs that will allow our staff and facility to become CDIPC certified once their certification program is in place.
- We have also held ‘Social Discipline’ seminars for our staff, seminars which educate and re-enforce safe and responsible behavior. We encourage our patients to follow CDC guidelines that help prevent the spread of the virus.
We have gone to great lengths in developing these guidelines and want you to be reassured in knowing we strategized every detail of our re-opening with safety as our #1 priority.
Drs. Gutierrez, Holt, and Staff