I am working in a practice that is requiring us to see 4 patients per hour! We have 2 assistants who polish and take radiographs, and a doctor is supposed to be available to clean the 4th patient IF we cannot get to them in time. Our entire hygiene team is against this and feels it is below the standard of care, but our doctors are being told by a company named Chrisad that this technique will make them millions. Is this even legal? What can we do to stop this?
The particular model that you are describing, referred to as accelerated hygiene, is not illegal. What is important is treating patients at or above the standard of care. The ADHA provides information on the standards of clinical dental hygiene practice1, which you might find helpful in considering if this model meets the standard of care. Your state dental board might also help you to define the standards of dental hygiene care such as this example from Washington State: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=246-815-160. If the time constraints of the appointment require you to provide care at a level below the standard of care then you should address this with the dentist and propose a plan that would allow you to provide care within the standard of care. You also should consider your ethical obligations of nonmaleficence and beneficence which would require you to do no harm and to do what will benefit your patients. 2 If your professional philosophy does not align with that of other dental care providers with whom you work you should seek out a practice that better aligns with your professional values.
This response is provided for general information only and does not constitute legal advice.
1. American Dental Hygienists’ Associationhttp://www.adha.org/resources-docs/7261_Standards_Clinical_Practice.pdf
2. Kimbrough-Walls VJ, Lautar CL. Ethics, Jurisprudence, & Practice Management in Dental Hygiene. 3rd Ed. Elsevier. 2010. Pearson Education. 2012.