Mobile Dental Systems Vehicle Design
c. What are infection control considerations during the planning stage?


Dental infection control recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) apply to all settings where dental services are provided, including those that use portable dental equipment or mobile van systems. Such settings often present challenges in implementing these guidelines. The Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP) formed a national advisory group to develop tools for a practical community site assessment and infection control and safety checklists. These checklists offer practical infection control procedures for use during oral health surveys, screenings, preventive care and treatment regardless of setting. These procedures are based on general principles of infection control and are determined by the provider's level of anticipated contact with the patient's oral mucous membranes, blood or saliva contaminated with blood.

Using these tools will allow programs to determine what factors present challenges to providing safe, quality care and to make decisions about possible adaptations or the need to select another site to provide services. Forms are formatted to answer specific questions about the site, personnel and procedures. Answers to the questions on the forms should be analyzed in terms of the level of services to be provided and any special circumstances related to the site or the patient population. Space is provided on the forms to suggest Action Steps and to Summarize Findings and Decisions to create an Action Plan to overcome any identified challenges. The forms can be accessed on the OSAP website.

The Site Assessment is best used when considering a new site to deliver services, although existing sites should also be assessed to determine possible problems that have been overlooked or have not yet been addressed. For mobile vans, questions would relate to both the van and the site where it is parked. The Infection Control Checklist is organized around the level of anticipated contact with mucous membranes, blood or saliva contaminated with blood, and the four basic principles of minimizing transmission of bloodborne and infectious diseases:

1. Take action to stay healthy

2. Avoid contact with blood and other potentially infectious body substances

3. Make patient care items (instruments, devices, equipment) safe for use

4. Limit the spread of blood and other infectious body substances

 

Resource

Infection Control Checklist for Dental Settings Using Mobile Vans or Portable Equipment

Includes a Site Assessment and On-Site Checklist.

Additional references and resources are also available on the OSAP website.