20 Oct 2020
International Infection Prevention Week is a reminder to all dental teams of their professional obligations around infection control and patient safety, particularly in a COVID-19 world.
The Dental Board of Australia (the Board) in helping to support awareness of the importance of preventing and controlling healthcare-associated infections is also recognising the professionalism of all members of the dental team.
‘The prevention week’s message of safer healthcare practices has perhaps never resonated so strongly for the dental profession as it has in 2020,’ Board Chair, Dr Murray Thomas said.
This year’s Infection Prevention Week celebrates the role infection preventionists around the world have played in keeping communities safe and well from the usual healthcare-associated infections but also during a global pandemic.
‘The Board wishes to thank all members of the dental team for their dedication to patient safety and for their efforts to help stop the spread of COVID-19 within the wider community,’ Dr Thomas said.
‘Dental practitioners in Victoria are caring for patients in particularly extraordinary circumstances while also being concerned about the wellbeing of their colleagues, family and friends. These are trying times and we recognise the professionalism of the profession.
‘It’s important to remember that everyone plays a role in controlling and preventing infection – both practitioners and patients.
‘The Board expects practitioners to be aware of their professional obligations but also wants to highlight the importance of patients complying with screening requirements so all patients can be confident they are receiving care in a safe and controlled environment.'
Dental practitioners should practise in a way that maintains and enhances public health and safety by ensuring that the risk of the spread of infection is prevented or minimised.
They are reminded to practise in accordance with the Board’s Guidelines on infection control and to refer to resources developed by the Board to ensure that they meet the infection control obligations.
Resources for dental patients on the Board’s website include a video highlighting seven easy to remember tips to help consumers know if their dental practitioner is following the correct infection control protocols.
International Infection Prevention Week started in the United States in the late 1980s and has expanded to every corner of the globe, including Australia.