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Currently, the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP) provides a forum for member educators to meet annually as a preconference program to their annual symposium.  This half-day preconference program has been held for more than 15 years, but only reaches the ADEA members that are also members of OSAP.  By creating an ADEA SIG, the opportunity for collaboration widens considerably.  

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Eve Cuny MS (University of the Pacific) and Nicholas DePinto DMD (Rutgers University) are proposing a new Special Interest Group on Infection Control and Safety for ADEA. This special interest group directly addresses the ADEA mission to, “… lead institutions and individuals in the dental education community to address contemporary issues influencing education, research and the delivery of oral health care for the overall health and safety of the public”.  

The goals and objectives of the SIG on Infection Control and Safety would include allowing dental educators to collaborate on the development of curriculum to ensure consistent education of dental, dental hygiene and dental assisting students related to infection control and patient safety in dentistry.  It would also provide a forum to promote and share ideas for research in the areas of infection control and patient safety and would broaden OSAP's collaboration with educational institutions.

As ADEA moves towards fulfilling priority 3 of the strategic direction aimed at service there will be an increasing need to develop infection control practices and education related to delivery of oral health care in nontraditional settings, which can present unique challenges.  This includes home health, mobile clinics, school-based programs, and international and domestic humanitarian care, among others. Within this SIG, educators can focus on addressing these emerging needs and disseminating information to care providers.

All dental educational programs must show evidence of adequate education, policy and practice related to infection control and patient safety as part of the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) accreditation process.  Additionally, federal, state, and local regulations mandate minimum standards for infection control and patient safety. These regulatory bodies include state boards of licensure, federal and state Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and state and local public health agencies.  This SIG will provide a forum in which educators may share ideas for unique ways of delivering education, how to measure effectiveness, policy development and address issues such as compliance.  Faculty with common interests can collaborate on research across multiple institutions and further the development of evidence-based practices and this work can be shared at the OSAP Annual Conference.

There is currently no other SIG focused on these topics. The topic of infection control continues to evolve as new evidence is produced and the understanding of infectious disease transmission advances.  In addition, patient safety initiatives have been widely adopted in the medical field, primarily due to a patient safety revolution that occurred after the Institute of Medicine report “Too Err is Human” was released in 1999.  Adoption of patient safety practices have resulted in documented improvements in health care delivery. In recent years, there has been more attention to patient safety initiatives in dentistry, as evidenced by the increasing number of scholarly articles appearing in the peer-reviewed literature promoting the adoption of the patient safety tools used in medicine to the practice of dentistry.  This SIG could provide a forum for OSAP-ADEA collaboration among dental educators in the expanding field of patient safety in dental practice. There is a dearth of data related to adverse events in dentistry and this also provides an opportunity for educators to compare data and start to develop reasonable benchmarks based on more than a single institution’s experience. 

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If you are an ADEA member in good standing and wish to support this proposal, please click HERE to download a form to complete and email back to Eve Cuny indicating your support. Twenty-five signatories are needed for the proposal to be considered by the ADEA Council of Sections Administrative Board.

Please submit your support form by Friday, February 19, 2016.

Thank you.

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