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Public Health Dentistry End 2-15-2012
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Infection Prevention and Safety   l   In The News   l   Other Safety Resources



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Infection Prevention and Safety


State oral health programs have a shared responsibility for the safe delivery of oral health care. ASTDD is partnering with the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP) to link states to technical assistance, educational materials, information on policy development and other resources on infection prevention and safety.

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In the News


Flu season is upon us. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older should receive an annual flu shot. The CDC has stressed that healthy people who were immunized against flu last year should also be immunized again this year. Universal immunization of healthcare personnel has emerged as an important patient safety issue. Dental health professionals working with the public are also at high risk of coming into contact with individuals who have flu. More information about influenza can be obtained from the CDC, APIC and OSAP Web sites.
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The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) has launched the first national accreditation program for public health departments. PHAB has launched this accreditation program as part of its vision to create a reliable national standard for public health. Click here for more information and to access the PHAB Press Release.

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The CDC has released A National Strategic Plan for Public Health Preparedness and Response. The plan outlines 8 objectives with 16 strategies to be achieved by 2020. It is a guide for CDC, the public health system as a whole, and stakeholders to secure the health of the nation and attain the plan’s collective 2020 vision of "people’s health protected – public health secured".
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You shake a hand, pass a credit card, or touch a door handle. In an instant, a lethal virus can be transmitted. That is the premise of Contagion, the new blockbuster movie about a global pandemic. OSAP recently ran a contest based on Contagion. The Contagion page on the OSAP Web site features an infection prevention IQ test to see how much you know about influenza and its spread. The site also offers free online educational toolkits, links to maps showing current outbreaks, pandemic influenza resources, and additional movie tie-in materials such as posters, activities, and the movie trailer.

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For further information about Infection Prevention and Safety Guidelines, Education and Training, Policies and Other Resources see the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention.
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A non-profit organization, OSAP is a unique group of dental practitioners, allied healthcare workers, industry representatives, and other interested persons with a collective mission to promote infection control and related science-based health and safety policies and practices. OSAP supports this commitment to dental workers and the public through quality education and information dissemination. OSAP is a trusted source of information for dental educators, consultants, clinicians, researchers and policy makers that provides timely updates, advanced education, innovative training tools, referenced answers to vexing infection control questions and proven strategies to address compliance challenges. Its checklists, issue foci and position papers provide practical, scientifically sound information and recommendations on specific issues like H1N1, dental unit water quality, "green" infection control, instrument processing, surface asepsis, percutaneous injuries, and much more.

Examples of some of the tools include:
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OSAP Infection Control Considerations for Dental Services in Sites Using Portable Equipment or Mobile Vans - Site Analysis
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OSAP Infection Control Checklist for Dental Programs Using Mobile Vans or Portable Dental Equipment
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Other Safety Resources


Other safety issues include ergonomics, eye protection, use of visible light cure units, noise control, handling of dental mercury, ventilation, nitrous oxide, radiation from dental x-rays, etc.

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American Dental Association
ADA resources on infection control
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Association of State & Territorial Dental Directors
ASTDD and OSAP are working cooperatively to ingegrate infection control and safety throughout ASTDD's policies, best practices and other resources.  Click HERE to see the implementation plan for this integration process.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CDC has a worker health and safety webpage
See also CDC Emergency Response Guide that recently was updated NEW
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Numerous resources and a searchable database
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OSAP Emergency Preparedness Issue Toolkit
A collection of emergency preparedness resources and information
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Safety and Health Topics for Dentistry from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
OSHA standards and directives related to dentistry
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Safety Net Dental Clinic Manual, Chapter 4, Section VIII
Numerous resources that apply to dental and other healthcare settings
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USAF Dental Evaluation and Consultation Service (DECS)
Numerous resources that apply to dental and other healthcare settings
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