Protecting the patient

Let patients know what and why you do the things you do to keep them healthy and safe.

By Patti DiGangi, RDH, BS

Holiday time is family time and joy for most everyone. Yet most of us have a dysfunctional family in some way or another. Dysfunction can be understood by thinking of a wind-chime. If one piece starts moving, it moves other pieces. Sometimes the sound is harmonious but often becomes a horrid clang of dysfunction.

A family is a system. Every day in your work, you probably interact with dozens of systems. Dentistry is filled with systems. Some effective, some whose time has come and gone but are still being used. One very important area in dentistry needing a systems approach is infection protection. A functional family of related products can help everyone in the practice family get it right without guessing.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Summary of Infection Prevention Practices in Dental Settings and the Infection Prevention Checklist for Dental Settings state, “Infection prevention must be made a priority in any dental health care setting. At least one individual with training in infection prevention—the infection prevention coordinator—should be responsible for developing written infection prevention policies… appropriate training and education of dental health care personnel (DHCP) on infection prevention practices, and adequate supplies to allow DHCP to provide safe care and a safe working environment.’

That sounds great and is important. At the same time, anyone who worked in a dental practice more than a half-hour knows, the ideal isn’t the way a practice necessarily or often works. Those working in a dental practice become a family and act as a system. It can be a dysfunctional family. Starting the day with a team huddle gets the team on the same page each day. Huddles aim to refocus everyone’s attention after the morning rush. They enable the team to dial in together before breaking for the day. In other words, the best of plans can still get derailed.

The first patient comes late for their hygiene appointment. The other hygiene patient needs an extensive conversation with the dentist. The computers aren’t booting. So many issues arise that take precedence that pulls every person in the practice. With hygiene running so far behind, one of the assistants is asked to turn over the room and seating the next person. Yet the assistant can’t because the dentist has something more pressing for her to do. The business assistant is feeling the pressure because a patient who has been waiting for his appointment comes to back to ask when he can be seated. She is pulled in to turn over the room. She is in a bit of hurry because the dentist’s patient is being released and she needs to set up the financial plan. And of course, three phone lines are ringing.

All of this can lead to rushing through the important infection protection procedures. The business assistant isn’t as clear as others about the procedures or even the products just because she doesn’t perform the procedures as often as others. Or think if it got crazy enough for the dentist to need to perform the room turnover! Again, if you have worked in a dental practice more than a half-hour, you are seeing and even reliving the scenario.

It can all be made easier. How? Systems thinking with a functional family of products. The Monarch line of infection prevention products provide that system. It’s color-coded to make it easier even for those less practiced at infection protection. From surface cleaning and disinfection, instrument cleaning, equipment maintenance to personal skin and hand protection, the Monarch family of Infection Prevention merchandise makes it easier to make the right choices for the right surfaces at the right time.

  • Green: The Monarch Surface Disinfectant products provide broad spectrum kill of 25 pathogens in one minute. These wipes and sprays have green lids and identification so anyone in the practice can know these are safe and compatible to for use hard surfaces in the dental office. The vinyl upholstery cleaner is also identified by the green color cleans and cares our chairs without leaving any residue; giving a silky gloss finish.
  • Blue: The blue color products for Instrument Cleaning starts with Monarch Safety Tray that facilitates easy and safe instrument processing. This is particularly important for those less familiar with the room turn-over process though it is equally important to those who perform it routinely. Monarch Enzymatic Cleaner is an effective multi-enzymatic cleaning concentrate formula using five synergistic enzymes for complete instrument cleaning prior to sterilization.
  • Yellow: The products that are yellow are very important to the office long term functioning of equipment-a major investment in most practices. Monarch CleanStream is designed for use with Air Techniques and all other vacuum systems, wet or dry. It removes and prevents future line build-up, increasing vacuum performance and suction and cleans and deodorizes evacuation lines. Monarch Lines Cleaner is the perfect solution to remove microbial build-up in tubing lines without the use of harsh chemical. For daily use in water bottle, weekly cleaning, and intermittent treatment to clear deposits from waterlines. Ready to use; no mixing or diluting is required.
  • Pink: Finally, the pink products for protection of the person performing the infection protection procedures. Monarch Hydrating Instant Hand Sanitizer formula kills 99.99% of widespread germs. It is a waterless, alcohol-based gel that contains Aloe Vera for smooth application and silky feel. The Monarch Revitalizing Hand Lotion contains a special wax formulation makes donning gloves easier. It is enriched with Aloe, Vitamin E and B complex and leaves hands smooth and silky; never oily. It provides long-lasting moisturizing effect, even after several hand washes.

With more than 50 million Americans experiencing various types of allergies each year and allergies as the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S., the choice made every moment by every person in a dental practice is important to protect our patients.

Those working in a dental practice become a family and act as a system. Using systems for infection protection that coordinate and function together can give the best outcome. The Monarch family of functional Infection Protection merchandize help practice families make the best choice creating beautiful music of health and safety together.

Patti believes dentistry is no longer just about fixing teeth; dentistry is oral medicine. AND its time we got around to truly practicing it. Her new brand: Beyond Oral Health challenges us do so. Patti’s specialty is coding-medically necessary coding. Her efforts have assisted thousands of professionals to code more accurately and efficiently. She teaches the why behind the codes. Patti holds publishing and speaking licenses with ADA for Current Dental Terminology©2020. Patti’s passion for infection protection is based on her personal health and allergies. She wants everyone to be protected.