Dental Compliance Reminders [Social Media, X-Rays, and Beyond]

Are you cultivating a culture of compliance in your dental practice? Are you careful about what you post on social media? Are you staying on top of X-ray machine maintenance? In this episode of Talking with the Toothcop, Andrea and I dive into some important compliance reminders you need to be mindful of—especially because OSHA is cracking the whip.

Outline of This Episode

  • [3:21] It’s time to create a culture of safety
  • [4:59] A brief social media etiquette guide
  • [6:22] OSHA is stepping it up
  • [8:14] How to maintain your X-Ray machine
  • [12:35] The topic of patient selection 
  • [15:18] What to do before administering Nitrous

OSHA is stepping it up

On March 12th, 2021 OSHA sent out a news release that said they launched a program to protect workers with safety concerns. OSHA is stepping up its enforcement efforts and protecting workers’ rights to a safe work environment. 

It’s time to take this stuff seriously and step up your game. Don’t look for loopholes—get this stuff done. We are seeing a shift under the new administration to enforce these things. If you get busted, it will be considered a serious violation. If you’re willfully negligent, it could be up to a $150,000 fine for a single violation. They are out for blood. 

A brief social media etiquette guide

I’ve gotten some questions about whether or not practices should post specific photos on social media. Before you post photos on social media, make sure you get signed releases from patients. Secondly, make sure anyone in the photo is wearing the proper PPE based on what the situation looks like—not what it is. We are still in a pandemic, so you better be wearing your respirator and other PPE whenever required. Remember, anything posted on social media can be evidence for anyone to use against you.

Maintain your X-Ray machine

There are things you need to do regularly to maintain compliance with your office’s X-rays and to pass state inspection. I recently got a call from a client with an inspector in their office. I dropped everything to walk them through the situation. I talked directly with the inspector and directed her to the information that said what they were supposed to be doing. But it shouldn’t have come to that. The office luckily didn’t receive a fine but got slapped with a violation. 

You have to use a multi-dimensional device or commercial device (i.e. a phantom or step wedge) with every sensor. You must test every sensor on every machine. The distance with the sensor and the cone head must be consistent every time you do the test to control variables. You have to do the same test with the same equipment with the same settings every single time. 

What is the best way to do it? Listen to learn more! If you’re still confused, shoot me an email if you have questions! I’m happy to help.

The topic of patient selection 

Just because someone walks into your office doesn’t mean they're your patient. They become your patient when you examine them and create a treatment plan for them (in Texas). If your first interaction is with the patient and some red flags come up, do not move forward. You can send them another dentist and go your separate ways. 

But once you plan their care and present them with a treatment plan, you can only dismiss them with proper mechanisms (so you’re not “abandoning” a patient). Listen to your gut feeling. These patients are the types that sue you or file state board complaints. You may have a huge compassionate heart—but you must protect it. Don’t take on patients that you shouldn’t. 

Listen to the whole episode for more tips on creating a healthy work culture and a reminder of what you should be doing before administering nitrous! 

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