1. GDRP – one year on!
2. Introduction to Sharps Management
3. Quiz: on your Hand Hygiene Facilities
4. Basic elements of Hand Hygiene technique
5. Clinical Audits in Medical Ionising Radiation

GDPR ONE YEAR ON: Dental Practice reminders & tips

  1. In dental practices, all members of the dental team must be briefed on the methods of securing personal information. This should include signing off on a training record that they have had such a briefing.
  2. Printers and fax machines should not be kept on reception desk counter tops, where items printed can be read by people speaking to the receptionists.
  3. When speaking with a patient, ask them to confirm their various details instead of reading aloud what you have on file. This can apply equally if on the telephone or dealing with them in person.  Their voice travels towards you while your voice carries outwards and can transmit to other people.  At some point, of course, more personal details will necessarily end up being discussed, but you will have made the best effort to reduce any risk.
  4. Computer keyboard lock functions should be used when a PC is left for any period of time.
  5. Don’t leave full details of appointments on public display either PC or typed list.
  6. In a surgery, if your computer displays patient records or lists other than for the person you are treating, you don’t leave the surgery without ensuring such screens are minimised, or some other member of staff remains in the room. small business guidance (<10 employees) for additional info click here


The Prevention of Sharps Injuries in the Healthcare Sector Regulations (S.I. 135 of 2014) and related Dental Council guidance on sharps management can be overlooked in a busy practice.
In this context “sharps” refers to any objects used in the diagnosis, treatment or prevention of disease that might cause a puncture wound or cut the skin. In the dental surgery, the main sharps items are needles, LA cartridges, burs, scaler tips, scalpel blades, suture needles, used matrix bands, and endodontic files.
The legislation places a significant duty of care on each employer to ensure a safe workplace. In addition, it places essential responsibilities on employees to proactively approach safety at work. Employees are required to be familiar with safety policies and procedures.
Each practice must have a sharps injury policy in place. This policy must be informed by a “practice specific” sharps risk assessment.
The main points flagged by the Sharps Injuries Regulations are:
  • Elimination / Reduction in the use of sharps
  • Implementation of safe procedures
  • Safe disposal
  • Vaccination
  • Information and Training
  • Incident Management
  • Post Exposure Practices
Refer to the Health & Safety Authority’s ( guidance click here 
HSA has the power of unannounced inspection to ensure compliance with all matters Health and Safety.

QUIZ: on your hand hygiene facilities

Answer YES / NO
1. Is there a dedicated hand washing sink in each dental surgery?
2. Are the following items available in palm-pump dispensers:
  • Liquid soap
  • Hand Gel/Rub
  • Hand moisturiser

3. Is there a wall mounted dispenser which issues single sheets of paper towels?
4. Is there a pedal-operated solid sided domestic paper bin to take the used paper hand towels?
5. Is there a mixer tap capable of being operated by wrist or elbow?
6. Is there a seamless, wipeable splash back to the hand sink area?
7. Is the sink free of an overflow or has the overflow been sealed off?
8. Is there a pictogram illustrating the various steps in the hand washing / gel technique?
9. Is the area surrounding the sink free of clutter?
10. Is there mention in your practice infection control policy on cleaning and auditing the hand hygiene facility sink?

If you have been able to answer YES to all the above congratulations your hand hygiene facilities are compliant with the guidelines. If not, you now have a to-do list!

World Hand Hygiene Day (5 May)

was a timely reminder that good hand hygiene is critical to reducing infectious disease transmission for both dental team members and patients.
Why not get your team together for five minutes to quickly revise these basic principles of hand hygiene?

  1. Gloves do not replace the need for hand hygiene;
  2. Perform hand hygiene before putting on and immediately after removing gloves;
  3. Maintain short nails, no nail varnish, remove jewellery including rings and wristwatches, and practice personal hand care;
  4. Choose hand gel instead of soap where practical;
  5. Hand hygiene sinks should be clearly designated and used only for hand hygiene;
  6. Let your patients see you performing hand hygiene;
  7. Facilitate hand hygiene for your patients with hand alcohol gel dispensers in your reception/waiting area.
Adherence to good hand hygiene benefits everyone.
Click here for a helpful HSE webpage packed with background science, training resources and common sense.

Clinical Audit in Oral Radiology

The Dental Council’s adopted criteria to encompass a wide range of radiological procedures. Subsequently S.I. 256 of 2018 designated HIQA to ensure that clinical audits in medical ionising radiation are performed.
As HIQA’s primary focus is with quality and patient safety, it would be reasonable to expect dental practitioners/undertakings to actively engage in audits under the headings of:

1. Justification

2. Optimisation

3. Interpretation

Examples of simple clinical audits which can be undertaken at regular intervals:


For assistance in establishing your medical ionising radiation clinical audit programme contact

Dental Compliance Limited supports dentists by carrying out on-site practice assessments and providing solutions that are practical and effective.
Our mission is to save you time and money by doing your compliance work for you.