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Dental mythbuster 9: Hand hygiene

Categories:
  • Organisations we regulate

We will consider his topic of hand hygiene when we review the safe key question which relates to regulation 12 (safe care and treatment).

Hand hygiene is an integral part of preventing infection in clinical practice. Dental practices have a duty of care to ensure it is managed in accordance with current guidelines:


Mandatory requirements

Professional guidelines: HTM 01-05: Decontamination in primary care dental practices

  • There is a written practice policy and/or protocol in place.
  • Waste bins are foot operated
  • The following must not be used for cleaning hands:
    • bars of soap
    • scrub or nail brushes
    • alcohol-impregnated wipes used for cleaning
  • Hand hygiene is carried out at the following key stages of the process:
    • before and after each treatment session
    • before and after removal of PPE
    • following manual cleaning of dental instruments
    • before contact with instruments that have been autoclaved
    • after cleaning or maintaining decontamination devices used for dental instruments
    • after completion of decontamination work

Recommended practice

Professional guidelines: HTM 01-05: Decontamination in primary care dental practices

Best practice:

  • Hand-washing protocols are displayed next to hand washing facilities.
  • Wall mounted liquid soap and antimicrobial hand rub dispensers are placed above or adjacent to the hand washing sink.
  • Hand-washing sinks should:
    • not have a plug or overflow
    • have a sensor-operated or lever operated mixer tap
    • not have taps that discharge directly into the drain aperture
  • There is a wall mounted paper towel dispenser.

Acceptable practice to meet Essential Quality Requirements:

  • Essential quality requirement training in hand hygiene is part of staff induction and provided to all relevant staff within dental practices periodically throughout the year.
  • Liquid soap and antimicrobial hand rub dispensers sited on or adjacent to the hand washing sink.
  • Normal sinks are considered adequate. (The arrangements described under ‘best practice’ arrangements would be fulfilled as part of a practice’s planned progress towards Best Practice HTM 01-05.)
Last updated:
14 June 2018

 


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