Dentists: Is Your Waiting Room Ready for H1N1?

Swine flu: H1N1 & DentistsWhen we asked about dentists and H1N1 this spring, only 12% said they had made any changes as a result of swine flu. But now that we seem to be in the midst of a pandemic, things seem to changing… Let’s review some of the latest news.

Here’s one change: the disappearance of magazines from many waiting rooms.

In the UK’s Press and Journal, author Roddy Phillips bemoans the lack of glossy mags and even pamphlets.

“Someone’s nicked all the magazines and . . . all the leaflets,” I announced.

She smiled and told me they had all been removed for health and safety reasons.

“Even the health and safety leaflets?” I asked, amazed, and the receptionist nodded.

“It’s to stop the spread of infections, particularly swine flu,” she said without sounding the slightest bit convincing.

“So the swine flu leaflets which are made of porous paper were in danger of harbouring a virus for long periods and passing it on to some unsuspecting leaflet reader?” I said.

The receptionist took a very deep weary sigh and nodded again.

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Now get this: a San Diego dentist was denied the H1N1 vaccine on the grounds that “dentists are not eligible health care professionals”?!?!?

The CDC has clearly stated that it recommends health care personnel get the vaccine. However, it’s up to each state’s Department of Health to decide how to allocate the vaccine.

In practice, it also seems to be up to supervisor on site. The San Diego dentist waited in line for an hour and was turned away, but he was so upset that he later returned, and the supervisor okayed his vaccination.

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Meanwhile, New York dentists can now give patients H1N1 vaccinations.

But there’s an important catch: Governor David Paterson’s executive order only allows dentists (and other healthcare professionals) to vaccinate patients at a state health department distribution center, not in their own practices.

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So what’s going on at your practice? Has anything changed?

About Jim Du Molin

+Jim Du Molin is a leading Internet marketing expert for dentists in North America. He has helped hundreds of doctors make more money in their practices using his proven Internet marketing techniques.


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