Think about how many years you have been working in the dental profession and ask yourself this question, “How many Government Inspectors have I seen during my career?” I bet that your answer is somewhere from zero to ten, but more than likely it’s zero. This is because dental offices haven’t been policed, meaning inspected regularly or annually like other professions. But like everything else in life comes CHANGE. Due to several events which shocked both the profession and public, the dental profession is becoming a policed profession. So your mindset now shifts from IF to now WHEN will your office be inspected.
I am often asked, “Do inspectors call and make an appointment?” The ONLY agency that is known to call and make an appointment is the California Department of Public Health – Radiologic Health Branch, otherwise the answer is NO.
Another common question I get, “Can you refuse an inspection?”. I know that some OSHA consultants are telling their clients, “Tell the inspector that they cannot conduct the inspection and that the inspector must make an appointment with the consultant”. This is nothing but worthless advise or in other words, “a bunch of BS.”
However I do recommend asking the inspector, if they can schedule the inspection at a later time, especially if there are uncontrollable circumstances that a raised, like emergency patients, short on staff coverage, no donuts, etc. If the inspection is not complaint driven, the inspector has a little flexibility at their discretion. Only exception in any case, Dental Board Inspector.
Keep this in mind, an Official Inspector will present their issued identification before they begin asking questions or start the inspection. Never, never, did I say never, let an Inspector roam around the office alone. Assign a team member to an escort and aid in the inspection process.
The following is the list of government agencies that regulate a dental office in California,
City Business Licensing
Water Sanitation District
Drug Enforcement Agency
Employment Development Department
Consumer Affairs – Dental Board of California
California Department of Public Health Environmental Division
California Department of Public Health Radiologic Health Branch
Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) is also known as CAL/OSHA
California Department of Healthcare Services – Mandates HIPAA at the state level
Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights – Mandates HIPAA at the federal level