An Eastside Seattle woman claims a routine dental cleaning at her dentist’s office in Bellevue Washington may have left her with Hepatitis C. Her belief is that it may have come from contaminated tools used at the dental office. A news article posted in 2016 about the situation is on the local KIRO 7 Seattle website.
The dental office in question states they follow the highest standards to assure patient safety, including regular sterilization of equipment. But, yet the office could not locate documentation verifying sterilization of the dental equipment used during the time in question. Due to this discovery, the dental office proactively notified an additional 12 patients of the potential risk of infection, encouraging them to get tested by their doctor at the expense of the dental office.
This isn’t the only case of this happening either. In a more recent article published by the New York Post in 2019, An estimated 1,250 children in Washington state may have been exposed to viruses including hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. This comes as a result of dental tools that were improperly sterilized.
Weekly Biological Monitoring
This situation is preventable if dental offices perform regular biological monitoring (spore testing) at least weekly per CDC recommendations. Also, it is best to use a mail-in biological monitoring service. This provides electronic reminders/notifications to test and third-party documentation of spore test results with digital archiving for their customers. HealthFirst BIOlogical, powered by the OnTraQ Online Compliance Management tool provides this type of service for their customers.
Third Party Documentation of Test Results
Third party documentation of test results provides a tangible record when proof of spore testing and proper sterilization must be provided. Dental offices benefit from incorporating a mail-in biological monitoring service because the documentation proving proper sterilization of dental equipment is automatically created and accessible 24/7 via the service’s online interface.
Contact a HealthFirst Readiness Advisor to incorporate HealthFirst’s BIOlogical mail-in biological monitoring service into your practice. Ask about how to get free access to the OnTraQ Compliance Management tool for third-party documentation of test results.