OSAP Presents Everything You Ever Needed to Know about Dental Infection Control and Safety

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Organization for Safety and Asepsis Procedures (OSAP) is finalizing plans for its OSAP 2003 Symposium June 19-22, 2003 at the Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa in Tucson, Ariz.

Although the scientific session technically begins on Friday, June 20, all dental workers will want to take part in Thursday's preconference program on the new dental infection control guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Due for release in late summer 2003, the forthcoming recommendations are the CDC's first update since 1993, and the 107-page draft announced in the February 7 Federal Register suggests a significantly expanded and more comprehensive document than was published 10 years ago. As such, many dentist-employers, infection control managers, institutional policymakers, and administrative and clinical staff may need to re-examine their everyday practices and policies to ensure that they address some newer infection control, safety, and occupational medicine issues. For example, new sections within the 2003 draft refer to occupational allergies, water quality, parenteral medication asepsis, safety devices, waterless hand hygiene and postexposure prophylaxis.

OSAP's day-long interactive pre-conference program will be among the first to put dental workers in touch with the new public health recommendations. Experts involved in the document's preparation will address changes to the 1993 guideline and preview new issues not included in previous CDC recommendations. Scheduled to speak from the CDC are William Kohn, DDS, Div. Oral Health (moderator); Elizabeth Boylard, RN, MPH, Div. Healthcare Quality Promotion; and Lynne Sehulster, PhD, Div. Healthcare Quality Promotion. Expert advisors on guideline content also will be on hand.

"This program is every dental worker's best opportunity to obtain the information needed to comply with the public health guidelines that will become the standard of care for dental infection control and safety," states CDC draft guideline advisor, noted infection control lecturer, and past OSAP chairman Dr. Shannon Mills.

"Compliance with infection control guidelines is an integral part of dental office safety, and an understanding of the risks, rationale, and requirements for dental practice is the key to compliance." he continues. "This program will give dental workers the key to compliance."

Not to be overshadowed, the OSAP 2003 conference program begins Friday, June 20 and continues through Saturday evening, June 21, with a series of lectures on:

-- The Impact of Infectious Disease around the World, a particularly timely topic in light of the recent outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS);

-- Burning Issues in Dental Infection Control, led by speakers from the American Dental Association, the American Dental Trade Association, OSAP and clinical/research/academia;

-- The Disinfectant Debate, featuring representatives from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the research community, and technical evaluation teams;

-- Dental Allergies: Are You Listening?, using video vignettes to demonstrate dental personnel's understanding of occupational allergies and translate clinical knowledge into daily practice; and

-- 45-minute Concurrent Sessions on Informatics and High-Tech Equipment: Infection control challenges of new technologies; Dental Lab Asepsis: Whose responsibility is it?; Infection Control Considerations in Dental Radiology; Infection Control Training Made Fun: Adding appropriate humor to enhance learning; Research Agenda and Design: Closing the gaps by designing solid infection control research protocols; Latex Allergy Screening: Participate in Type I allergy testing; and The IC Bookclub: Roundtable discussion of books in popular culture with infection control as their theme.

On Sunday, special interest groups of educators, consultants, biological monitoring services, central sterilization personnel, and others will meet to discuss issues specific to their work situations.

In addition to the rich continuing education opportunities (more than 20 hours of CE are offered), OSAP 2003 presents unique and unparalleled opportunities for networking with colleagues, educators, and representative from the dental trade. A technical exhibit will present the infection control and safety offerings of more than 25 OSAP member companies, while the welcome reception and poster presentation will allow attendees to peruse new research and speak with members of the scientific community.

On Friday, the popular OSAP auction encourages tax-deductible shopping for vacation packages, gourmet gift baskets, dental office supplies, and more donated by OSAP members. All proceeds help support OSAP's goal: Safe dental care for people everywhere. On Saturday, attendees will have another opportunity to meet up with old and new friends at the annual networking reception.

For more information, log on to: www.osap.org