Patient Safety

Revised September 28, 2020

Touro Dental Health is now open for dental care in a limited capacity.

On June 28, 2020, Touro Dental Health launched a multi-phased reopening plan following guidelines from the New York State Department of Health (DOH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). After three phases gradually increasing capacity from 16.5% to 50%, we are now operating our clinical facilities at a capacity of 83% of students, faculty, staff and patients. We have expanded the hours of our clinic and call center to allow for more social distancing and to better accomodate scheduling for our patients.

As a dental training facility, infection control has always been a top priority in our clinics. We employ an Infection Control Officer who ensures state and federal guidelines are meticulously followed to protect our patients. Our professional-grade sterilization facilities offer the highest-level of quality control available. Now, we’ve taken further action to ensure your health and safety by establishing screening protocols for anyone who enters our building, increasing personal protective equipment standards, adding protective shields at all clinic desks, and enhancing cleaning practices such as the use of innovative self-cleaning film on high-touch surfaces.

To learn more about these initiatives and how they may impact your visit to Touro Dental Health, please read the details below and visit this site for updates.

 


Please note that we are experiencing a high volume of calls and appointment requests due to our reduced capacity. We thank you for your patience as we continue to ramp up operations. 


 

Screening Efforts

Upon arrival to Touro Dental Health, all patients, visitors, faculty, staff and students must complete a short online COVID-19 screening survey, and temperature screening in order to enter the building. These screening checks help determine your risk of exposing others to COVID-19 and help protect you as well. In some cases, a Virtual Dental Visit may be recommended.

Patients can complete this screening survey online from any mobile device and must show the confirmation screen to staff upon entry.

The online screening survey is available at: nymc.edu/screening

These screening questions are also asked each time you schedule an appointment and again by your student provider during your visit in order to update your chart. We thank you for your patience and cooperation in completing these multiple screenings. While we understand these questions may be repetitive, please know that our extra efforts are for your safety as well as the health and safety of everyone in our facilities. 

Testing

Our students, faculty and staff are participating in campus-wide surveillance testing as an added safety measure to monitor community prevalence. While we do not require rapid testing, we will update our policies on screening and testing procedures if it is determined necessary. Patients will be notified about any changes or requirements. 

Personal Protective Equipment

Proper PPE including masks, gowns, gloves and goggles have always been a requirement for our students, faculty, and clinical staff working at Touro Dental Health. We have increased PPE standard to include face shields manufactured in our onsite lab, custom fitted masks for greater comfort and protection, as well as head and shoe coverings.

All patients and visitors to our facility should arrive wearing a face covering. Following your screening, you will be given a disposable surgical mask to wear during your visit which provides greater protection than a cloth mask. Masks should be worn at all times in our facility, except for when dental treatment is being provided. 

Social Distancing

The reopening of Touro Dental Health has been done gradually in multiple phases starting with 16.5% of the usual number of patients, faculty, staff and students in our clinical facilities at any one time. This has enabled us to maximize social distancing and carefully monitor our progress as we ramp up to full capacity.

Patient entry to the building will be staggered to promote separation and minimize wait times in public areas. Signage ihas been added to remind people of social distancing, including designated areas to stand in the elevator and in the check-in line. We have created designated care pathways in certain hallways to keep traffic flowing in one direction and limit close contact.

Our reception areas have been rearranged with fewer chairs that are spaced 6 feet apart, when possible, and we’ve removed all magazines and literature, as well water dispensers. Plexiglass shields have been installed at all clinic reception desks to ensure safe separation in places where distancing might be difficult. 

Cleaning Practices

While infection prevention has always been a top priority, we are now taking extra precautions when it comes to cleaning our clinical facilities, waiting rooms, elevators, restrooms, and other public spaces to ensure everyone’s safety. We are focusing on all high-touch areas and clean multiple times a day to make sure every area is continuously disinfected. In addition, we are also exploring the use of innovative self-cleaning film to high-traffic surfaces such as elevator buttons and door handles.

In addition, our dental operatories are meticulously cleaned after each patient appointment following infection control guidelines. All dental instruments are sterilized and individually wrapped in our state-of-the-art instrument processing facility using professional grade sterilization techniques.

Visitor Restrictions

The safety of you and your loved ones remains our top priority. For the protection of everyone, we are discouraging visitors whenever possible to appointments and screenings, except for special circumstances.

Online Patient Registration & Bill Pay

We have implemented an online registration process for new patients as well as an online bill pay system in an effort to reduce the length of your appointment and effectively limit person-to person contact. All new patients should complete their registration forms online prior to their appointment and will be contacted by their assigned student and faculty team for a virtual consultation to discuss their medical and dental history in detail, as well as their dental concerns. In addition, patients are requested to pay their balances in advance using our new online payment system.

 

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call the Touro Dental Health Call Center at 914-594-2700 from Monday - Thursday, 7:30am - 6:00pm and Friday from 7:30am - 5:00pm.