Back to Top Skip to main content

Patient Safety in Action: MHS Dental Community Drills Down for Patient Safety Standards

An Army soldier receives dental care from Air Force dental clinicians at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii while the Airmen are deployed with the Florida Air National Guard to work and train in a joint environment. U.S. Air Force Maj. Matthew Sands and Staff Sgt. Lacy Summy perform a dental procedure on Army Spc. Sarah Hunt in the dental clinic on Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. The Airmen are deployed with the Florida Air National Guard to work and train in a joint environment alongside active duty soldiers at Tripler Army Medical Center and the dental and optometry clinics on Schofield Barracks. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Shelley Gill)

Recommended Content:

Patient Safety | eBulletin

Often when thinking about patient safety, the image of a doctor’s office or hospital usually comes to mind, but the dentist office plays a critical role in protecting patient safety, too. When getting dental care, a patient may be given anesthesia or have an outpatient surgery like wisdom teeth removal. The services are working to advance safer care and standardize processes and procedures. One of these areas of focus is how dental safety events are being reported and analyzed. A Dental Patient Safety Integrated Product Team was formed to help standardize definitions and reporting throughout the Military Health System.

Representatives from the Army, Navy, Air Force and National Capital Region dental communities have been meeting monthly for more than a year to discuss dental patient safety and reliability. This group is working to enhance the culture of safety within the MHS dental community.

“The Dental IPT’s work this past year is critical for our high reliability organization journey,” said Ms. Heidi King, program manager of the DoD Patient Safety Program. “I commend these dental and patient safety champions for recognizing variability in reporting among the services, voluntarily coming together to study and have transparent conversations on how to learn from each other and drive improvements.”

During a September 2017 two-day retreat, the Dental IPT discussed a variety of topics including, wrong site surgery, loss of specimens, contamination, medication issues, delay in treatment, fire and unintended retained foreign objects. The services also shared some of their strategies to improve patient safety in dental clinics. 

Two ways the services are improving patient safety includes following The Joint Commission’s criteria for reporting events and conducting root cause analyses, and developing surgical instrument count protocols before and after a dental procedure.

“The work that the Dental IPT is doing has the potential to be industry leading,” said Dr. Daniel Ross, chief of the DoD Patient Safety Program. “Through standardized event definitions and our focus on the reporting of safety events as a tool for learning, military dentistry has a great opportunity to leverage organizational learning to mitigate unsafe conditions and proactively prevent harm.”

In 2018, a dental patient safety reporting guidebook will be released to educate frontline health care providers on best practices to identify and report dental patient safety events.

You also may be interested in...

Feature: Meet the 2017 Quality and Patient Safety Winners

Article
1/3/2018
Staff from the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital accept the MHS Advancement toward High Reliability in Healthcare Award in the Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety discipline for their “Improve Sterile Instrument and Process Handling” initiative.

Feature: Meet the 2017 Quality and Patient Safety Winners

Recommended Content:

Patient Safety | eBulletin

HRO Corner: Air Force Medical Service Takes Off with Trusted Care

Article
1/3/2018
Air Force flight nurse administers pain medication to a patient in transit to home.

The Air Force Medical Service is using traditional in-person training, virtual mentoring, modern technology and social media to standardize high reliability across the service.

Recommended Content:

Patient Safety | eBulletin

DoD PSP Treasure Chest: January/February Edition

Article
1/3/2018
DoD Patient Safety Program Treasure Chest

January/February 2018 edition of the Department of Defense Patient Safety Program Treasure Chest

Recommended Content:

Patient Safety | eBulletin

HRO Corner: Insights from Navy’s First Chief Quality Officer on HRO Transformation

Article
11/1/2017
Picture of a high reliability organization screensaver that displays on all Navy Medicine computers communicating importance of high reliability and patient safety.

Rear Adm. Bruce L. Gillingham, who leads Navy Medicine’s transformation to a High Reliability Organization, provides guest insights into how Navy Medicine is working to achieve zero preventable harm.

Recommended Content:

Patient Safety | eBulletin

DoD PSP Treasure Chest: November Edition

Article
11/1/2017
DoD Patient Safety Program Treasure Chest

November 2017 edition of the Department of Defense Patient Safety Program Treasure Chest

Recommended Content:

Patient Safety | eBulletin

Feature: Why Immunizations and Antibiotics Matter for Patient Safety

Article
11/1/2017
Air Force pharmacist prepares antibiotic for patient.

The MHS uses immunizations and antibiotics to prevent and treat illness to help service members maintain readiness.

Recommended Content:

Patient Safety

Patient Safety in Action: Collaboration with Japan Leads to Diffusion of TeamSTEPPS Overseas

Article
11/1/2017
Picture of TeamSTEPPS Pocket Guide translated into Japanese.

The DoD PSP and the National Institute of Public Health in Japan collaborate on TeamSTEPPS trainings overseas to improve health care delivery in civilian hospitals.

Recommended Content:

Patient Safety

DoD PSP Treasure Chest: September Edition

Article
9/5/2017
DoD Patient Safety Program Treasure Chest

September 2017 edition of the Department of Defense Patient Safety Program Treasure Chest

Recommended Content:

Patient Safety | eBulletin

Feature: Parting Words of Wisdom from Patient Safety Advocate Col. Napolitano

Article
9/5/2017
Picture of Col. (Dr.) Peter Napolitano

Recommended Content:

Patient Safety | eBulletin

Patient Safety in Action: TeamSTEPPS® Now and a Look into the Future

Article
9/5/2017
Graphic shows the four main components of effective patient care teams who use Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (TeamSTEPPS) to improve quality, safety and efficiency of health care.

TeamSTEPPS tools and resources are having a positive impact in both clinical and non-clinical settings in the Military Health System.

Recommended Content:

Patient Safety | eBulletin

Joint Patient Safety Reporting

Photo
8/24/2017
Joint Patient Safety Reporting logo. The system used to capture patient safety events underwent software improvements in August 2017 to enhance user experience.

The Joint Patient Safety Reporting system used by both the Department of Defense and Veterans Health Administration to report patient safety events was updated in August 2017 to improve user experience.

Recommended Content:

Patient Safety | eBulletin

In the zone at WBAMC's inpatient wards

Article
7/17/2017
Usa Thompson, staff nurse, Surgical Ward, William Beaumont Army Medical Center, measures medication while donning a visual aid designed to limit interactions and distractions while administering medications. Inpatient Wards at WBAMC implemented distraction-free designated times and other initiatives to proactively combat potential for error in missed or incorrect medications. (U.S. Army photo by Marcy Sanchez)

William Beaumont Army Medical Center’s Inpatient Wards have proactively implemented a distraction-free designated time dubbed, Medzone

Recommended Content:

Access, Cost, Quality, and Safety | Military Hospitals and Clinics | Patient Safety

Feature: Deadline for High Reliability Awards Fast Approaching

Article
7/5/2017
Group photo of the Advancement toward High Reliability in Healthcare Award winners for the health care quality and safety discipline.

Recommended Content:

Patient Safety | eBulletin

Patient Safety in Action: Cutting through Challenges to Improve Surgical Quality Outcomes in the MHS

Article
7/5/2017
Doctors perform surgery in an operating room.

Recommended Content:

Patient Safety | eBulletin

DoD PSP Treasure Chest: July Edition

Article
7/5/2017
DoD Patient Safety Program Treasure Chest

Recommended Content:

Patient Safety | eBulletin
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 7

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing: Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.