By: Andrea Cook

Orthodontic offices continue to face the challenge of implementing and maintaining an effective, efficient, affordable and compliant office safety program. A key to this challenge is the designation of an infection control coordinator who manages the safety of the office. The specific duties of this position may vary from office to office but certain responsibilities are consistent throughout the industry.

This is definitely not the most sought after role in the office but with the increase in unannounced inspections it is a vital role in today’s orthodontic practice. The team member in this role would be responsible for the overall management and coordination of the infection control, chemical safety, fire safety and evacuation processes, and compliance with regulations and recommendation.

Some of the key duties of the infection control coordinator are

  1. Most importantly be a positive role model for safety by following established protocols,
  2. Keep all team members involved and informed.
  3. Encourage ideas, opinions, and suggestions from all team members.
  4. Encourage the team to take part in the fact-finding and decision making process.
  5. Explain the purpose of the task to help team members understand why.
  6. Recognize compliance of established protocols and processes.

The role of the infection control coordinator is typically assigned to a clinical team member. The role will require the involvement of the entire team as well as time to perform the duties such as establishing protocols and monitoring compliance. The infection control coordinator should plan and organize the safety plan for the office but must also be a role model.

Don’t’ let complacency about infection control and disease prevention set in. Patient and employee safety are critically important to every office. Processes and protocols need to be established initially, review periodically and monitored continually. Please email me for a checklist for your infection control coordinator at