Dentistry is operating in a world where regulatory monitoring and legal enforcement seem to be forever shifting. By way of assistance, let me summarise the latest changes to impact on clinical dental practice.
The Health Information and Quality Authority’s (HIQA) mandate has recently been extended to medical exposures to ionising radiation in both public and private dental installations.
The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) retains its existing regulatory responsibility for ionising radiation exposure to members of the public and workers, but some amendments are occurring to the regulations.
As these new radiation regulations are at present in an implementation stage, dentists should actively familiarise themselves with guidance documentation on the regulators’ websites. The coming months will see the introduction of additional documentation regarding dentists’ obligations. It is advisable to be proactive in reading correspondence received from the regulators and review their respective websites often.
Infection prevention and control
In 2015, Dental Council issued a revised Code of Practice Relating to Infection Prevention and Control, which set out the standards required to minimise the risk of infection to patients and dental healthcare professionals alike.
Since September 2018, HIQA’s mandate was extended to also include infection prevention and control in dental community services which are provided on behalf of the HSE.
Health and safety
The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has many regulatory responsibilities, including identifying hazards in the work place. The 2016 document on ‘Occupational Hazards in Dentistry’ is a useful guide for dental practices undertaking their scheduled risk assessments for physical, chemical agent, biological agent and psychosocial hazards.
Demonstrating compliance with legislation offers validated assurance that quality and safe dental care is being provided. In a previous blog post, I identified five essential actions towards achieving and demonstrating dental compliance.
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