By Marc Lamarre
When I was practicing dentistry, my team and I had to be diligently on the look-out for all possible risks of cross-contamination.
Like any health facility, dental clinics can easily become contaminated with bodily fluids, such as saliva, blood and mucus. Dental equipment can also be a problem. You may recall news stories about dental water lines harbouring bacteria. These are the lines that deliver water to patients during procedures. This big risk resulted in manufacturers having to go back to the drawing board to redesign equipment.
Cross-contamination can also happen in less obvious ways. Let’s take the example of a dentist who’s doing a check-up of your teeth and naturally wearing disposable gloves during the procedure. When they’re noting the info on your chart, are they taking off their gloves before touching pen and paper? Even if their charts are digital, are they changing their gloves as they pivot from keyboard and mouse – to your mouth?
The last thing any dentist wants to worry about is a surprise inspection by public health authorities – which can and does happen, by the way. Which is why clinicians need to be diligent like a detective in examining every possible risk of cross-contamination. Not passing an inspection is not an option. It’s terrible for the clinic’s reputation and certainly never good for patient health.
This is where our advanced charting software, SmartChart™, can help. SmartChart™ is voice-activated, allowing clinicians to simply call out dental conditions, which are automatically captured and displayed visually on its 3D odontogram and periodontal charts. Other than sterile instruments, there’s no need for users to touch anything like pen, paper, screen, mouse or keyboard when charting. Plus, a key benefit of SmartChart™ is that clinicians can now chart a lot faster, freeing up time for other procedures. This also means no more running around the clinic to find a second person to help, which is typical for charting.
While I’m not Dick Tracy (maybe Luke Cage, given the striking resemblance…), I am very happy to be part of the team that has solved another risk of cross-contamination for dental clinicians and their patients.