Curious about emergency dentistry during the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease pandemic? The COVID-19 outbreak has caused many dentists to limit their elective services and transition into only treating patients who need emergency dentistry. Due to this, it is important for people to understand what constitutes a dental emergency. One of the more common oral health concerns…
Patient Safety Protocols
Updated Safety Protocol
Here at BabylonSmiles by Edward Zeva, DMD, we have always practiced the highest level of infection control to ensure the safest treatment environment for our valued patients and team members. We have elevated our best practices to exceed the recommended guidelines provided by the CDC and the ADA.
In light of the recent COVID Pandemic, we have worked hard at elevating our standards to ensure the safest environment for anyone visiting our office. This starts with making sure our team is aligned and is fully aware of their specific role in providing the highest level of safety. Our team members have been urged to STAY HOME if feeling ill and we urge you, our valued patients, to do the same.
- Patient Education
- Team Recommendations
- Patient Interview and Pre-Screening
- Social Distancing
- Patient Arrival
- Patients in and out of Treatment Areas
- Team Safety Protocol
1. EDUCATING OUR PATIENTS ABOUT OUR OFFICE PROTOCOLS
One of the most important things that we are doing, during a time in which we are prohibited from serving our community, is to educate our patients and staff in order to establish protocols necessary for the protection of our team members and our patients. Patients should be aware of the following:
- Proper handwashing technique is important, using soap and water and/or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. This may seem basic; however, it is the most important thing we can do to prevent the spread of the virus. Proper handwashing is imperative before and after every patient encounter.
- The use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is important, including well-fitted face shields, surgical masks, gloves, and gowns/jackets.
- All team members and patients have their temperature taken upon arrival to the office and will be asked to reschedule if they have an elevated temperature (100.2 F and above).
- Patients are screened about any exposure to anyone potentially infected with a respiratory illness.
**Our practice exceeds the guidelines from the CDC and the American Dental Association (ADA).
2. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR OUR TEAM MEMBERS
- Team members will take a daily temperature. If any team member is displaying signs of a respiratory infection or fever, they will be asked to stay home until it is safe to return.
- Team members will continue to follow best practices in PPE and personal hygiene, such as short nails, hair ties, no extra accessories, etc. As mentioned earlier, hand washing and/or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers are to be used throughout each patient encounter.
- Team members are expected to keep their work areas clean, organized, and free of clutter.
- Team members will use designated CLEAN ROOMS to change from street clothes to scrubs upon arrival to and leaving the office. Contaminated clothing will be removed in a safe plastic bag/container.
- Phone handsets, pens, clipboards, and any contaminated surfaces will be cleaned after each use.
- Cellular phone use by the team members in any treatment area is highly discouraged. Team members will leave the office after washing hands, changing into street clothes, dispose of all disposable PPE’s in an appropriate fashion, disinfect and sanitize all reusable PPE and leave in the appropriate locations designated in the office.
- Team members are urged to launder office clothing separately from their regular laundry and to bathe as soon as they arrive at home so as to ensure the safety of their families.
3. PHONE INTERVIEW/PRE-SCREENING
- On your phone call with our office, you will be asked a series of questions to help screen for possible respiratory illness. In the event that you are displaying active signs of a respiratory infection, you will be asked to reschedule your appointment for a more appropriate time.
- We will make every attempt to have our patients “DOCTOR READY” when they arrive at our office. This means we will assist and guide you with securing and having all of the following ready for your appointment: online forms, insurance information, etc. Please DO YOUR PART by ensuring that all the pertinent data and information you would like our doctors to review has been made available BEFORE your appointment.
- If you are a high-risk patient, elderly, or immunocompromised, we will make every effort to schedule your appointments early in the day to ensure the least amount of patient traffic at the office at the time of your appointment.
4. SOCIAL DISTANCING
- Patients will be asked to arrive alone for their appointment, where appropriate and will enter the treatment areas alone. Anyone accompanying patients will be asked to wait in the car or building lobby.
- We will provide hand sanitizer on your arrival. You will be asked to wash your hands and rinse with an appropriate mouthwash. We may provide you with a mask to wear throughout your visit to the office.
- You will be expected to follow appropriate social distancing measures for the entirety of your visit to our office.
- Please call us upon your arrival at our building. We will do our very best to respect your appointment time at our office. However, in the event of an unexpected delay, we will kindly ask you to wait in the car until we have recreated a safe environment for your visit.
5. PATIENT ARRIVAL
- You may notice some changes upon arrival to our practice. We have removed clutter from the reception in the form of books, magazines, etc. We will limit the number of patients in the reception area to ensure adequate social distancing practices. We will provide a mask while you wait.
- Patients will be verbally screened again for any signs or symptoms of respiratory illness. PLEASE DO YOUR PART. WHEN IN DOUBT—KEEP OUT! Their temperature will also be taken upon arrival at your dental visit.
- As you are asked to enter into the treatment areas, a staff member will guide you to the sink area and ask that you start the infection control protocol. This will include hand washing and/or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer, oral rinse with an appropriate mouthwash, and use of surgical mask if deemed appropriate to ensure adequate social distancing and safety protocols.
- We will make every effort to escort you directly to your treatment room so as to limit your wait time in your car or our reception.
- You may notice reception and checkout areas being repeatedly wiped and disinfected throughout the day. As part of our new safety protocols, all surfaces coming into contact with patients will be addressed similarly to our treatment rooms in an effort to make sure every part of your experience is a safe one.
- Air purification units will also be noticed throughout the office as part of our safety protocols and measures. These contain the highest HEPA filtration available and are proven to eliminate virus particles as small as 0.1 microns.
- We will routinely have the windows open in every operatory to allow for better air circulation.
6. PATIENTS IN THE TREATMENT ROOMS
- Patients will not be escorted to a treatment room unless all cleaning and disinfecting protocols have been executed. Patients may be asked to “wait” in the prepared treatment room as opposed to the reception area until the doctor is ready to see them.
- Treatment rooms will be cleaned and disinfected immediately following patient traffic in accordance with our safety protocols.
- ISODRY isolation units are used whenever possible to aid in the reduction of aerosol production. One of the most important things that we can do is to provide you with a proven way to reduce airborne particles with continuous suction. High speed and low-speed suction shall be used at all times to aid in the reduction of aerosols.
- Air purification units will be strategically placed throughout the treatment area to aid in attaining the highest air quality.
- All contaminated disposable materials will be disposed of. Contaminated surfaces in the reception and check out areas will be wiped and disinfected similarly to surfaces in the treatment rooms using the appropriate medical disinfectants.
- Non-disposable medical equipment will be steam heat sterilized or disinfected appropriately immediately following contamination.
- High-grade hospital-level disinfectants are used to clean and sanitize any medical equipment that cannot be sterilized by autoclave or similar fashion.
- Patients will be encouraged to wash hands and/or use the provided hand sanitizer prior to leaving the treatment area as well as the check-out area.
- We will be researching payment methods that can be used to reduce contact which may contaminate surfaces.
7. TEAM SAFETY PROTOCOLS
- Our team members are expected to follow and strictly adhere to the safety protocols provided. As CDC and ADA recommendations evolve, so shall we. Our aim is, and always has been, to provide the safest and most comfortable patient experience. Compliance is mandatory.
- Proper handwashing/sanitizing before, during, and after contact with any surface that could possibly be contaminated.
- Correct use of PPE: Our team will be expected to place and remove their PPE as instructed by the CDC. The recommended order of donning PPE is as follows: GOWN, MASK, EYE AND FACE PROTECTION, GLOVES.
- Gowns will be used upon entry to the patient treatment areas. Gowns will be disposed of if visibly soiled.
- N95 respirators or the highest available surgical grade masks will be used for any major aerosol producing procedures.
- Eye protection and face shields shall be worn by team members and patients to ensure safety. Non-disposable eyewear and face shields shall not leave the patient treatment areas and will be sanitized appropriately after each patient encounter.
- Clean gloves will be worn for every patient encounter and will be replaced during patient treatment if torn or heavily soiled.
- No team member will leave the treatment area while wearing gloves.
- Appropriate handwashing and/or sanitizing will be done before, during, and after patient contact. Patients will be urged to do the same upon completion of their visit.
We, at BABYLON SMILES, love our patients.
Your safety, as well as that of our team members, is of the utmost importance. Although we feel that a dental office is likely one of the most sterile environments that you can be in, we are confident that, through our upgraded protocols and re-education of our team and patients, we can do our part in mitigating the risk of transmitting the disease to our patients, staff, and families.
Please do your part. WHEN IN DOUBT—KEEP OUT! The dentistry can usually wait until you are feeling better. We ask that you, as the patient, do your part in ensuring all the pertinent steps are taken prior to your appointment at our office. This includes securing all relevant data and medical history information, pre-registration through our online forms, and providing a means for us to take care of any financial obligations prior to your visit. All these measures will help us reduce contact.
Dr. Zeva and his team are aware of the stresses that this pandemic has placed on everyone and will stay committed, as always, to providing you and your families with compassionate care in an individualized and utmost private setting.
Thank you for entrusting us with your oral health.