We like to have fun on these podcast episodes - which you’ll hear in this recording - but dental regulatory compliance is not a laughing matter. Tens of thousands of dollars in fines are levied against practices regularly for a variety of infractions and omissions. We thought it would be beneficial to share the most common mistakes we see when we do our compliance consults in client dental offices - so that’s what we recording on this episode.
Listen to hear OSHA and HIPAA regulatory requirements and how dental offices around the country are missing vital points of compliance. Much of it is tedious, but it’s all the law - and the fines are hefty if you don't comply. Be sure you listen.
A “BAA” - Business Associate Agreement is required in many cases to protect patient information
Every dental office out there works with other service providers. “BAA”s or “Business Associate Agreements” need to be in place for every service provider your office works with.
HIPAA defines a business associate as any organization or person working in association with or providing services to a covered entity who handles or discloses PHI or personal health records (PHR). There’s a laundry list of companies or individuals you may work with who fit that description. In this episode, we provide examples and explain what you need to do to ensure your office is compliant with this regulation.
Did you know you need to keep an OSHA medical file for every employee - for 30 years?
Every person who works in your dental office needs to have a handful of documents on file in your office - under lock and key. We commonly refer to these as the Employee’s OSHA Medical File. While there are a number of items that could be kept in the file, there are 3 that are must-haves:
1 - Hepatitis B Acceptance or Declination Form
2 - PPE Acknowledgment Form
3 - The Employee Exposure To Termination Form
And the file has to be kept for 30 years. 30 years!??? Yes, 30 years.
That brings up a valid question, “Can these records be kept electronically instead of in hard-copy?” We talk about that question and much more on this episode.
Are you transporting sharp instruments properly inside your office?
One of the most common dental regulatory compliance issues centers around the issue of transporting sharp instruments within the office. Best-practice is to have all instruments in a hard-sided, covered container so that should a slip or fall occur, the instruments are contained and nobody is at risk of being cut or otherwise injured.
But very few dental practices pay attention to this regulation - mainly because it’s a bother. That’s not a good reason, so we encourage you to think through consistent ways you can train your office staff to comply with best practices. If you’re found out doing this wrong, tens of thousands of dollars in fines could be levied against you.
Employee training has to be more important than the desperation to get the work done
Every busy dental practice knows the struggle it is to find qualified, motivated team members. When you do find someone who fits your team, it’s tempting to get them rolling in the actual work of the job right away to relieve some of the pressure and stress within the office. But hold on - don’t forget there is a lot of mandatory disclosure and training that must happen before that new employee steps into the role they’ve been hired for.
Employee training on OSHA and HIPPA issues is vital to ensure that best practices are followed in every step of treatment, record keeping, and patient care. Our team can help you think through your existing systems and put adequate training in place. Or, for now, you can listen to this episode to hear our advice on how to address this important issue.
Outline of This Episode
- [0:55] Is it cactus or cacti? We’re afraid to Google it…
- [2:47] Is OSHA a not as scary as The Office For Civil Rights
- [7:01] How these issues come onto the radar in the first place
- [8:42] Top concerns we see in offices regarding OSHA consults
- [19:01] Common trends relating to radiology equipment slip-ups
- [22:55] The beauty of what we do at Dental Compliance
- [23:58] Coming soon to your State (it’s happening now in Texas)
- [27:14] Reasons potential employees might be on an exclusion list