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Infection control survey announced

Annapolis, Md.—An online survey announced Jan. 28 by the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention invites anonymous and voluntary responses from private practice dentists about the use of exposure control plans for reducing the risk of exposure to potentially infectious materials.

The organization of dental educators, consultants, researchers, clinicians and industry representatives is partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to conduct the survey through Feb. 28. The random sample of dentists invited to participate in the survey was selected from an AEGIS Communications distribution list. It includes general dentists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, pediatric dentists and periodontists, said Therese Long, OSAP executive director.

"The information is completely anonymous, but the aggregated data will help to identify available exposure control resources and potential barriers so better strategies can be developed to improve the safety of dental health care workers," she said.

The "Dear Dental Practitioner" survey said, "No personal identifiers such as name, address, email address or phone number will be recorded. Your responses to all questions will be kept secure."

The CDC proposed the Web-based survey in a Feb. 27, 2012, Federal Register notice and said the OSAP would conduct it. "The purposes of this proposal are to ensure that bloodborne pathogens exposure control plans are effectively implemented in private dental offices and dental clinics, an important segment of the non-hospital-based health care system, and to understand how effective implementation strategies may be applied to other health care settings," the CDC said.

The CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health will own the data. A report containing aggregate data from all respondents will be published and made available to the dental health community, the survey said.