We have received isolated reports that some dental practices are either not scheduling EFDAs to work or are eliminating their positions due to an incorrect interpretation of the Ohio State Dental Board's return-to-work recommendations.
On April 27, the Dental Board issued Guidelines for Providing Dental Care During the Current COVID-19 Pandemic. Among the recommendations are suggested provider-to-patient ratios to achieve suitable social distancing:
• Stagger patient appointments to minimize patient-to-patient contact. To facilitate adequate distancing, it is strongly recommended to limit one patient per dental care provider. Observing these guidelines will regulate the number of patients within an office/clinic at any given time.
• Social distancing will be observed in the dental offices and waiting areas. To help adequate distancing, it is strongly recommended to limit one patient per dental care provider. Observing these guidelines, will regulate the total number of patients seen in a day and the number of patients within an office/clinic at any given time.
The same day, the Ohio EFDA Association asked the Dental Board for clarification on this recommendation as it applies to EFDAs and dental assistants. The Board responded that "provider" includes dentist and dental hygienist. No auxiliaries are included in the recommendation. The recommendation is for one patient in the office for each dentist and dental hygienist. It does NOT mean auxiliaries are prohibited from working in the office or treating patients.
If your dental practice is citing this recommendation as a basis for not utilizing an EFDA, please contact us at email@example.com.