Part 3 of a part 4 Series
Infection control obligations under the National Law
“As regulators of the profession, we act to protect the public. We take breaches in infection control standards seriously. Consequences for non-compliance with appropriate infection control measures are significant for practitioners, and may be for patients and the community.
Requirements for registered dental practitioners
Under the National Law, you must have access to and make sure your practice meets the infection control standards listed in the Board’s Guidelines on infection control.
This includes the National Health and Medical Research Council Australian guidelines for the prevention and control
of infection in healthcare.
We expect registered dental practitioners to practise in a way that maintains and enhances public health” 1
“If you’ve ever had a complaint against you, you’ll know just how distressing it can be. Not to mention the time and effort that goes into addressing it … providing records, correspondence and “please explaining” yourself.
And you’ve got to agree … receiving a complaint is something you don’t wish on your worst enemy and it’s something you want to avoid at all costs”. 2
“When non-compliance with the regulations happens it is inevitable that a problem or injury may occur”. 3
Staff safety is also a critical factor these days. It is now a reality that a number of blood borne viruses, including hepatitis B and C and HIV can infect health care workers. Under Australia’s Occupational Health and Safety Act there is a requirement for the employer to provide a safe working environment, safe system of work, safe procedures and equipment and education and training to assist workers perform their work safely.
Infection control is a matter of risk management whilst providing health care.
Why use thermal disinfection?
1. AHPRA requires compliance with Australian Standard
2. Australian Standard AS/NZS 4187 states:
3. CAUTION ULTRASONIC CLEANERS CLEAN BUT DO NOT DISINFECT INSTRUMENTS.
4. Hot Wash cycle: Hot water, maintained between 50 0 C and 55 0 C temperature
5. Hot Rinse cycle: Hot water, raises the temperature to 65 0 C
6. Disinfecting cycle: Hot water, sprayed from nozzles, raises the temperature of the instruments to be disinfected and the internal surfaces of the chamber to not less than 80 0 C and maintains the temperature for at least 10 minutes.
7. Instruments not sterile without effective cleaning?
8. It’s not clean until it has been disinfected.
9. Prevention is better than cure- and that applies to equipment too.
10. Complacency not an option.
In a washer-disinfector, thermal disinfection takes place at temperatures above 80 o C maintained for a period of not less than 10 minutes. The preferred alternative for Health Authorities, Infection Control specialists and many other groups involved in research on this subject is thermal disinfection.
It is known that if all surgical practices take seriously the responsibility to ensure infection cannot be transmitted between patients by observing their routine procedures and ensuring a high standard of care for all. SANITECH is here to assist you make Australia an even cleaner place.