The goal of a dental infection control program is to provide a safe working environment that will reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections among patients and occupational exposures among DHCP. Medical errors are caused by faulty systems, processes and conditions that lead persons to make mistakes or fail to prevent errors being made by others. Effective program evaluation is a systematic way to ensure procedures are useful, feasible, ethical and accurate. Program evaluation is an essential organizational practice; however, such evaluation is not practiced consistently across program areas, nor is it sufficiently well-integrated into the day-to-day management of the majority of programs.
A successful infection control program depends on developing standard operating procedures, evaluating practices, routinely documenting adverse outcomes (eg, occupational exposures to blood) and work-related illnesses in DHCP, and monitoring healthcare-associated infections in patients. Strategies and tools to evaluate the infection control program can include periodic observational assessments, checklists to document procedures and routine review of occupational exposures to blood-borne pathogens. Evaluation offers an opportunity to improve the effectiveness of both the infection-control program and dental practice protocols.
If deficiencies or problems in the implementation of infection control procedures are identified, further evaluation is needed to eliminate the problems.
Establish routine evaluation of the infection control program, including evaluation of performance indicators, at an established frequency.