IPAC Top 10 Areas of Focus to Maximize Protection and Safety

March 16, 2021by Lisa Philp

It’s hard to believe we’ve just passed the 12-month anniversary of the initial Covid-19 lockdowns. The public health mandated changes to our IPAC systems since the re-opening of dentistry in Spring 2020 have been massive. Dentistry has responded and met the challenge with amazing success, but vigilance as we enter our second year under Covid protocols remains essential.

With that in mind, we’ve taken the opportunity to summarize the Top 10 Areas of IPAC Focus that will help ensure your compliance with the current standards. These findings are based on our experiences, conducting IPAC audits in dental practices across Canada.

1-Are all your Hazardous Materials labelled appropriately?
Most practices are NOT up-to-date with their SDS Binders.

2-Do you have a Sharps Safety Policy WITH a Management of Injury Protocol?
Most practices are doing a great job with HAVING a sharps policy but often have important components missing.

3-Do you have a Dental Unit Waterline maintenance AND testing Protocol?
Most practices are doing a good job with TREATING their water lines BUT are not quality testing at all or on the
right interval.

4-Do you have an Environmental Cleaning Policy?
Most practices are often missing this from their IPAC manual and are lacking an official policy.

5-Do you address Blood and Bodily Fluid Spills in your Waste Management Policies?
Most practices are often missing this from their IPAC manual and are lacking an official policy.

6-Are you labelling and logging your sterilized instruments properly?
Most practices are not labelling with all the required info (differs in some provinces).

7-Are you wearing and using PPE properly?
Most offices are wearing the right PPE but not all are using the correct methods.

8-Are you using the right protocols for AGP vs NGP?
Most offices are doing a great job of complying despite the inherent challenges.

9-Does your reprocessing area meet all IPAC standards?
Many practices are storing things incorrectly.

10-Do you have an effective Failed Biological Indicator Policy and Patient Tracking Method?
This is THE most important area of reprocessing, and an area where we see a lot of non-compliance issues.

Managing the ever-changing IPAC requirements is one of the biggest undertakings in the dental practice. Knowing where to focus and having an idea of the common pitfalls is a great start.

We also encourage you to watch our Town Hall recording from March 2021, where these points are outlined in greater detail.

If you need additional support with IPAC management, or would like to arrange a complimentary consultation with our IPAC expert, contact us today!

Lisa Philp