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News — Texas

The Use of Designated Agents in Your Practice

Ask yourself the following questions. Does anyone other than the dentist ever: Prepare prescriptions for controlled substances for the dentist’s signature? Call or fax prescriptions to a pharmacy? Handle controlled substances for ordering, inventorying, shipping/receiving, and/or preparing for the dentist’s administration to a patient? Look up patient/caregiver drug histories in the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP)? Look up the dentist’s prescribing history in the PMP? Transport controlled substances to a satellite office? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, your office should officially authorize the staff members who perform these functions to be in compliance with federal regulations regarding...

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What is your Medical History Policy?

As healthcare practitioners, dentists may be the only doctor some of your patients may see. This is a great opportunity for you to connect with your patients about what's important to them. Written review of medical history, like treatment consent, can seldom be over-documented. This is another issue where state boards may differ.As a general rule, I suggest you and your staff update patient medical histories prior to performing any clinical procedure. This also applies to orthodontists, who often believe they are exempted because they don't perform invasive procedures. Keeping updated medical histories can help prevent terrible medical tragedies. Know your patients' health...

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Consent Considerations

How often do you and your staff obtain a new written informed consent for treatment? State laws vary some, but let me throw this out there.... I frequently see dentists disciplined for not having signed consent when they should have had it. Conversely, I have never seen a dentist disciplined for having consent forms signed for every clinical procedure (or too many consents). When in doubt as to whether or not you need consent, err on the side of caution and get it!Some principles to remember about consent: Always get consent in writing Consent forms should give patients enough information to...

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Will Emergency Drugs Bite You in the Butt?

Many states require that Dentists (and even staff members) maintain current BLS, ACLS and/or PALS. Additionally, there are requirements that Dentists have and maintain suitable emergency oxygen and have emergency drugs "as a reasonable Dentist with your training and experience."As a State Board Investigator, I investigated patient deaths and hospitalizations. I saw the real life consequences for Dentists who were not prepared for Medical Emergencies in their practice. Not only do you have the legal and administrative hassles, the worst consequence is that you have to live with yourself. Medical Emergencies are real and being prepared is vital. It starts...

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You Can't Handle the TRUTH... About N-95 vs. KN-95 Respirator Masks

I don’t understand why you keep telling us we have to implement an OSHA Respiratory Protection Program – we don’t use respirators.
  • The terminology around masks and respirators is the cause of a lot of confusion. You use N-95 masks, which you call “masks”. The N-95 mask is classified by OSHA as Face Filtering Respirators (FFR). As such, N-95 respirator masks are subject to the requirements OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard (1910.134).

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