The safety of our patients, students, residents, faculty, and staff is first priority here at Penn Dental Medicine. To prevent the spread of communicable diseases, we adhere to a rigorous infection control exposure plan. This includes monitoring staff compliance with immunizations, use of the most up-to-date Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and techniques, maintaining strict sterilization procedures, and providing continuous training for all providers.

A special concern in health delivery settings is monitoring safety protocols to prevent transmission of bloodborne pathogens and communicable disease, such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), and including the most recent novel Coronavirus threat, COVID-19.

The procedures described below are reviewed and updated at least annually based on evidence and recommendations from governmental authorities, such as CDC and OSHA.

Training

All health care workers, including faculty and students, are required to complete training annually on bloodborne pathogens and the proper use and disposal of PPE. They also receive training on the handling and management of hazardous materials.

Infection Control Procedures

All health care workers, including faculty and students, are required to follow ‘Standard Precautions’ as the minimum required PPE. PPE requirements have been enhanced to be compliant with CDC guidelines related to coronavirus. Presently, all patients are prescreened by phone. Temperatures are taken of all who enter our facility: faculty, staff, students, patients, and visitors. In addition, protective masks are required while on the premises.

Barriers are being used to cover surfaces that could become contaminated during the course of patient care. These barriers are removed and disposed of after each patient encounter, and all surfaces are also cleaned with disinfectants. Hazardous materials and infectious waste are disposed of in accordance with Pennsylvania’s Municipal Waste Management Regulations, Chapter 271, 25 Pa Code §271.1.

Sterilization

All instruments and handpieces are carefully cleaned, disinfected, inspected, packaged, tracked, and sterilized in a state-of-the-art central sterilization facility. All autoclaves are routinely tested to ensure that all sterilization cycles are successful. Single-use materials and instruments are used where indicated.

Immunization

All health care workers, including faculty and students, are required to provide a proof of immunization in accordance with CDC recommendations for health care providers as follows:
MMR, Varicella, Hepatitis B, and TDAP. Flu immunization is required annually, and TB testing is required biennially.

Body Fluid Exposure

In the event of an inadvertent exposure, patients who have been exposed to bloodborne pathogens while being treated at the clinic will be offered free counseling and testing. Results from such testing shall be disclosed only in accordance with applicable federal and state laws.

Questions about Penn Dental Medicine’s infection Control Exposure policies can be directed to pdmclinicalaffairs@upenn.edu

 

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