A New Standard of Clean and Care in Response to COVID-19
Ever since we opened our doors in 2012, our doctors and team members have put the health of our patients first. Children are among the most vulnerable to health risks, and because we provide dental care to thousands of children every month, we must be vigilant in ensuring that our clinics and healthcare providers do everything we can to protect our patients.
It’s not just our patients that we have to care for — the health of our staff is also a top priority. We can’t care for our patients if our team members are not healthy.
With the impact that COVID-19 has had — and will continue to have — around the world, CPDO is raising the bar to new heights when it comes to dental care. We must do more so that our patients can continue to receive necessary and sometimes life-saving dental treatment, and to protect our dental team so that they will be healthy enough to provide that care.
In addition to strengthening our current policies around infection control (which we encourage our patients to read through), we are implementing new protocols in all of our clinics effective immediately. These new procedures were developed under the guidance of many reputable health agencies and organizations, including the CDC, OSHA, the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Board of Orthodontics, the Tennessee Dental Association, and more.
Here is a list of some of the new policies we are putting into practice immediately:
Patient Check-in Process
- All patients will be required to complete a short COVID-19 assessment the day before the appointment. Responses to this assessment will determine whether the patient can be seen or will need to reschedule to a later date.
- Patients will not be allowed to enter the clinic to check in for their appointments. You must remain in your vehicle and call the office once you arrive in the parking lot in order to check in.
- All patients will be asked to complete their check in paperwork before their appointment. All forms will be available digitally so that they can be completed from your computer or phone.
- Only the patient will be allowed in the clinic. A parent will only be allowed into the clinic with the patient under special circumstances. These may include accompanying young children, children with special needs, patients that are being sedated, etc. We ask that you do not bring along any friends or family members to the appointment.
- Before a patient is allowed inside the clinic, a team member will meet you at your vehicle to conduct a temperature check. We will then determine if the patient is cleared to come inside the clinic.
- All CPDO employees are required to stay home if they are showing any signs of illness.
- All employees will complete daily COVID-19 assessments to determine if they are at-risk.
- All employees will be screened with a temperature check outside of the clinic before their shifts begin.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- All required PPE (disposable gloves, masks, safety glasses etc.) have been secured in order to allow our team to treat our patients in the safest way possible.
- All employees have received additional training on the proper use and wear of PPE.
- All scrubs worn during patient treatment will be left and laundered in the office.
- All non-clinical employees (in addition to clinical staff) will be required to wear a face mask when interacting with patients.
Disinfecting and Hand-washing
- All dentists and employees are required to wash their hands using medical-grade soap for 30 seconds (10 additional seconds beyond federal guidelines) before and after seeing each patient, before and after their shift and lunch breaks, and when hands are visibly soiled.
- Hand sanitizer inventory has increased and is available to all employees and patients throughout the clinic.
- Inventory of medical-grade cleaning solution has increased for all clinics, and deep cleaning of patient and clinical areas using disinfecting solution has increased to hourly and in between each and every patient.
- All employees have been trained to help keep patients and other persons in the clinic at least 6 feet
away from other patients.
- Floor markers have been added to remind patients and other persons in the clinic to keep a physical distance of at least 6 feet.
- Non-patients will be allowed in the clinic only under special circumstances.
- New flow of traffic has been designed in clinics to encourage physical distancing while traveling between treatment areas and rooms.
Reducing Other Possible Modes of Transmission
- New technologies have been installed to assist employees in transferring clinical documents to patients and responsible parties digitally, and to capture consents and signatures via personal mobile device if needed.
- Treasure Towers (the small vending machine of prizes and toys for patients) have been removed from treatment areas.
- iPads, video game consoles, and video game controllers have been removed or deactivated from the waiting area.
- Books, toys, crayons, and other non-essential items have been removed from the waiting area.
As new data, research, and guidelines develop around COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, we will be updating our policies to reflect those changes.
As always, we are available to answer any questions you have about patient care and clinical policies. Feel free to reach out via phone to your local CPDO office, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.