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Patient Safety Goals for Dentistry

Patient Safety Goals for Dentistry™

As adapted from the Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goals

Improve the accuracy of patient identification in dental settings

Safety Strategy:

  • Use at least two patient identifiers when  providing care, treatment or services

Improve the effectiveness of communication among all dental providers

Safety Strategy:

  • When receiving verbal or telephone information (referrals, prescriptions, test results, etc.) verify the information by repeating back the information in its entirety
  • Standardize a list of abbreviations, acronyms, symbols, and dose designations to be used throughout the office

Improve the safety of using medications in dental settings

  • Periodically check for look-alike/sound-alike drugs in your office/facility and take action to prevent errors involving the mix-up of these drugs
  • Periodically check for expired medications, emergency drugs and dental materials

Eliminate opportunity for wrong-site, wrong-patient, wrong-procedure, treatment or surgery

  • Conduct a pre-procedure verification of the service, treatment or surgery to be performed
  • When feasible mark the surgical site
  • Conduct a “time out” for final verification

Reduce the risk of health care-acquired infections in dentistry

  • Comply with current CDC hand hygiene   and infection control guidelines
  • Manage breaks in infection control as serious events—analyze and report as required by law

Improve the safety of using dental equipment

  • Ensure all equipment is in proper working order, regularly maintained and checked for any hazards
  • Ensure the materials and workspace where equipment is utilized is hazard free
  • Provide training for staff responsible for utilizing and/or maintaining equipment
  • Notify the dentist or supervisor of unsafe or potential hazardous conditions

Accurately and completely reconcile medications with other dental and medical providers as needed