Hand Hygiene: A Critical Part of Dental Infection Control and Prevention – Dental Infection Control

Dental Infection Control and PreventionWith the flu season well upon us, and quite severe this year, we want to remind you about proper hand hygiene. Proper hand hygiene is considered to be the single most important measure for preventing pathogen transmission in healthcare settings. The CDC estimates that each year nearly 2 million patients in the US acquire an infection from just being in the hospital, and that almost half of these patients die as a result of their infection. Evidence indicates that noncompliance with hand hygiene practices contributes to these healthcare-associated infections and the spread of multi-resistant microorganisms.

OSHA and most state dental boards have hand hygiene requirements. OSHA requires employees to immediately wash hands after removal of gloves and/or following contact with blood or other potentially infectious material (OPIM). State dental boards require adherence to CDC recommendations, which call for hand hygiene before and after each patient. Soap and water should be used when hands are visibly dirty. CDC also promotes the use of 65-90% alcohol-based hand rubs with moisturizer for routine use as an alternative to soap and water, so long as hands are not visibly dirty or contaminated.

Since 1992, OSHA Review, Inc. has provided dental professionals with comprehensive programs to support regulatory compliance and infection control. We are a registered continuing education provider in the state of California, specializing in Dental Practice Act, infection control, and OSHA training.