Top 4 Benefits of Instituting a Compatible and Standardized Infection Prevention Program

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Making the Case for the Compatibility and Standardization of Disinfectants

Infection control is critical to ensuring the safety and efficiency of healthcare environments—and dental offices, in particular, present unique challenges. Given the risk of contamination from dental sprays, instruments, high-turnaround exam rooms, and other sources, meticulous disinfection practices are crucial to preventing the spread of pathogenic microorganisms in dental settings.

Yet, with the increasing variety of disinfectants available, how do DSO decision makers select products that can be seamlessly integrated into effective infection prevention (IP) programs? The key is compatibility and standardization.

Below, discover how choosing the right disinfectants and standardizing your IP program can boost your bottom line—and keep your patients and staff safe from infection:

1. Reduce the risk of infections

Infections can be costly—both for patients and your staff in terms of sick time.  And while there is a large selection of EPA-registered, intermediate-level disinfectants that align with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) requirements[1], not all are optimal for daily use in high-turnover environments. CDC advisor and infection prevention expert Dr. William Rutala believes that the ideal disinfectant should be fast-acting, broad-spectrum, easy to use, compatible with surfaces and equipment, and affordable[2]. Carefully selecting disinfectant products that meet these standards can help prevent the direct and indirect spread of disease through contaminated surfaces and screens—and reduce the risk of costly infections in your dental practice.

💡PDI’s wide range of disinfectant wipes meet all of Dr. Rutala’s criteria and boast fast contact times and the ability to kill a broad range of microorganisms, making them a timesaving and effective addition to any IP program.

2. Preserve the longevity of your medical equipment

Dental offices have a number of factors to consider when selecting disinfectant products—one of which is the assurance that the products they choose will not break down or compromise their valuable medical equipment (i.e., is compatible). Dental chairs, for example, can cost $4000-16,000, and utilizing compatible products to clean them can significantly extend their 10-20 year lifespan[3]. With the rising costs of dental equipment, it’s important to adhere to operational instructions to ensure compatibility, prevent voided equipment warranties, and demonstrate compliance to regulatory and accreditation surveyors.

💡Do you know your medical equipment’s’ disinfection guidelines? Find compatible PDI products that preserve the integrity of your dental equipment through the compatibility portal.

3. Prevent costly errors

In fast-paced dental environments, a standardized IP program can help streamline staff training, ensure consistent disinfection practices—and prevent costly errors that compromise medical equipment and the safety of patients and staff. These programs should include clear, easy-to-follow operating procedures and a list of recommended disinfection products, making it easier for medical personnel to delineate which cleaning products are compatible with which pieces of equipment and driving compliance with the IP program. Educating dental professionals on the importance of infection prevention is also critical to maintaining standardized disinfection practices—and is considered a common challenge in dental offices by the CDC[4].

💡PDI offers complimentary continuing education courses to help medical professionals stay on top of infection prevention best practices, trends, and hot topics. Create your free account here. 

4. Standardize your ordering process

Effective infection prevention relies on a consistent supply of a variety of products, so it’s essential to choose a manufacturing partner that can cover all your disinfection and cleaning needs to improve the patient experience. Screen cleaning wipes, hand sanitizing wipes, and lens cleaning wipes are all popular and valuable offerings for dental facilities. In addition to standardizing your infection control protocol, working with a manufacturer can streamline your ordering process, saving you valuable time. Plus, several manufacturers offer exclusive cost benefits and perks to dental practices that partner with them, including contract pricing and bonus deals.

💡PDI provides complimentary point-of-care accessories that help put our products in the right place at the right time—making it easy for your staff to do the right thing regarding infection prevention. This includes floor stands, tabletop caddies, wall mounts, and equipment tag systems.

Looking to enhance your IP program?

With more than 100 years of combined experience in infection prevention across diverse healthcare settings, PDI’s clinical team brings invaluable expertise and insights to provide best practice recommendations that meet the needs of your dental office. We are ready to work with you directly to address clinical issues and provide solutions that help protect you, your staff, and your patients from the transmission of infections.


Written by: Holly Montejano, MS, CIC, CPHQ, VA-BC, Director of Clinical Education and Program Development, PDI Southeast Region. Holly is an infection prevention and healthcare epidemiology specialist and currently serves as part of PDI’s dynamic clinical affairs team, supporting the Southeast Region as Director of Clinical Education and Program Development. You can reach her at

PDI is dedicated to leading the fight against preventable infections in healthcare, foodservice and our communities. Driven by a commitment to research, quality and service, PDI provides innovative products, educational resources, training and support to help prevent infection transmission and promote health and wellness.


[1] Kohn, William G., et al. “Guidelines for infection control in dental health-care settings-2003.” MMWR Recomm Rep 52.17 (2003): 1-61.

[2] Rutala, William A., and David J. Weber. “Selection of the ideal disinfectant.” Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology 35.7 (2014): 855-865.

[3] Gonzalez, Silvestre. “Know whether to repair or replace dental equipment.” Dentistry IQ (2017).

[4] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Summary of infection prevention practices in dental settings.” Basic Expectations for Safe Care. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Dept of Health and Human Services (2016).