Be Prepared for COVID-19 Office Inspections

 

Most of us have returned to our practices with very modified schedules, layers of additional PPE, HEPA air purification systems, strict social distancing policies, temperature logs, pre-appointment telephone screening of patients, pre-procedural rinses targeting the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and the elimination or very selective use of tools we have come to rely upon in our efforts to minimize aerosols and keep our staff members and our patients safe (and that was not a comprehensive list of the "new normal" for dental offices).

 

The stresses, financial, logistical, procedural and mental, are exhausting.

 

What one does not need now is the added stress of a random inspection of the office, possibly in relation to the spikes of COVID-19 infections in certain areas of the city, by a representative of the NYC or NYS DOH.

 

So, as any good scout knows, BE PREPARED.

 

Prepare (on your computer) simple signs to implement your office policy (e.g., “We ask that you KEEP YOUR MASK ON until you have been seated in the Treatment Room and are asked to take it off” or “We respectfully ask that all patients please proceed directly to the sink in the bathroom off the reception area and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, using soap”) and post in the appropriate areas.

 

Mark off six-foot distances in your hallways and reception areas (anywhere there might be more than one person at a time).

 

The next two are critical:

 

If you have not already done so, you MUST complete two tasks.

 

First, you MUST create and keep on file in the office a Business Reopening Safety Plan. This can easily be accomplished using the NY FORWARD SAFETY PLAN TEMPLATE, which is available for downloading and printing by clicking the button below:

 

Download NY Forward Safety Plan Template

 

It is a simple template which can be downloaded as a PDF, completed and printed. It should be kept on file and ready for inspection should a DOH official ask for it.

 

The second thing you MUST do is even easier. You need to print out the NYS INTERIM GUIDANCE FOR DENTISTRY DURING THE COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY document and keep it on file. Click the button below to download the document:

 

Download NYS Interim Guidance for Dentistry

 

Failure to have these documents on hand might result in hefty fines, even if the inspector can clearly see that you are enforcing the strictest of safety protocols.

 

YOU NEED TO COMPLETE THE SAFETY PLAN AND PRINT IT OUT

 

YOU NEED TO DOWNLOAD AND PRINT OUT THE INTERIM GUIDANCE FOR DENTISTRY

 

You don’t need any more stress in your life, so JUST DO IT!