The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) exempts dentistry, as a low-risk industry, from…
According to a new publication Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections through Hand Hygiene: 2022 Update in the February 2023 issue of Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, five medical organizations have published updated recommendations for healthcare personnel to protect patients and staff from healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). The updated recommendations include two new essential practices from previous recommendations:
- The additional recommendations for appropriate glove use are as follows:
- HCP should receive competency-based training to ensure knowledge and skill in avoiding contamination during doffing.
- Routine double-gloving is not recommended, except when specifically recommended for certain job roles or in response to certain high-consequence pathogens.
- The document contains additional recommendations to reduce environmental contamination associated with handwashing sinks and sink drains.
Proper hand hygiene is considered to be the single most important measure for preventing HAIs. 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.
In dentistry, 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.