The Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP) is launching a major multiyear collaborative educational program in conjunction with National Dental Infection Control Awareness Month (NDICAM). OSAP’s Safest Dental Visit™ program is a new initiative designed to promote an increased commitment to infection control and safety. The program will bring together clinicians, educators, speakers and consultants, product manufacturers and distributors, and others interested in patient safety to help ensure that every patient visit is the safest dental visit.
The launch coincides with NDICAM, a month-long awareness campaign during September designed to increase focus on dental infection control and safety, and to help clinicians engage with patients on this important topic. A wide variety of support materials are available on the OSAP website at www.osap.org.
According to OSAP, the dental team plays a pivotal role in the program. The dental office is where clinicians address new and emerging threats and increasingly complex policies and guidelines. It’s also where patients express concern (or remain silent but worry) about their safety. This new OSAP campaign is designed to help dental practices educate and train staff, promote a safe and professional environment, increase patient confidence and loyalty, attract new patients, and enhance the overall image of the practice.
A centerpiece of the Safest Dental Visit program is the pledge. The Safest Dental Visit pledge outlines critical guidelines and practices to help ensure the safety of every patient. The campaign supports dental practices to make this pledge by providing information, education, and regular reminders to engage staff in infection prevention and safety.
Although the goal is for all dental practices to participate, OSAP members gain access to the Safest Dental Visit Tool Kit, a set of curated materials that guide the practice through establishing a culture of safety, maximizing the role of the infection control coordinator, understanding OSHA requirements and CDC guidelines, and taking full advantage of OSAP membership.
Dental product manufacturers and distributors are participating by promoting OSAP membership and the Safest Dental Visit program, helping support the program through in-kind services or donations raised through sales, or offering OSAP memberships for specific product purchases.
OSAP encourages dental practitioners and other interested parties to check the website frequently or join OSAP to be kept up-to-date on new resources and educational opportunities as they are made available.
OSAP is a growing community of clinicians, educators, students, policy-makers, and industry representatives who advocate for safe and infection-free delivery of oral healthcare. OSAP focuses on strategies to improve compliance with safe practices and on building a strong network of recognized infection control experts. OSAP offers an online collection of resources, publications, FAQs, checklists, and tool kits to help dental professionals ensure that every visit is the Safest Dental Visit for patients and the dental team.