Standards of Care


  1. All patients have the right to receive treatment without discrimination as to race, religion, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, or source of payment.
  2. All patients must be registered by the College of Dental Medicine before they are admitted for treatment. All patients must fill out and sign a comprehensive Health History Form, a Consent Form that includes possible risks, benefits, and treatment alternatives, an Acknowledgement of Receipts of Privacy Practices Form (HIPAA), and the Treatment Policy Sheet. The legal guardian must complete these forms for minors and patients unable to give their own legal consent.
  3. A patient dental record is established and maintained to include the legal documentation of all demographic data, medical history, consents, consultation reports, charting, radiographs, diagnostic, and treatment procedures.
  4. All dental records are housed in the Record Room (BSB 250) on the second floor of the College of Dental Medicine with the exception of new patient records kept in Oral Medicine until the admission process is completed. Pediatric/Orthodontic, AEGD, and Periodontal resident patient records are maintained in their respective clinics. According to South Carolina law, dental records are to be maintained within the physical confines of the College of Dental Medicine.
  5. As treatment progresses, progress notes will reflect the following: date, Division name, full description of treatment rendered including materials, any changes in medical history, consultations, signatures, and of attending faculty and student, and any post-operative instructions.
  6. At the patient’s request, a copy of the dental record and radiographs will be given to the patient or legal guardian after completion of an Authorization to Disclose Protected Health Information Form (HIPAA). A minimal fee is charged for these services and is coordinated through the Office of Clinical Affairs. If a third-party requests information from the College of Dental Medicine, where the patient is not informed, an MUSC Medical Center Accounting of Disclosures Form must be completed.
  7. Medical alert stickers will be posted on the outside of the patient record and further described in the medical history for those medical conditions that may require alteration of routine dental treatment due to a medically compromising condition.
  8. Patients of record and walk in emergencies will have access to dental emergency services on the following basis: 1) Monday through Friday – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the College of Dental Medicine, Oral Medicine Clinic. 2) Evenings, Weekends, and Holidays – Medical University Hospital Dental Resident on call. Whenever possible, the patient’s assigned student will provide emergency care. Additionally, Limited Endodontics and Operative (Caries Management Clinic) care is available in the College of Dental Medicine.
  9. Medical emergency procedures for the College of Dental Medicine are in place during normal hours of operation. The MUSC Medical Center On-Campus Emergency Response Plan is initiated in response to a medical emergency. This plan referred to as the “May Day” procedure is posted in all clinic and next to all clinic phones. Emergency carts with oxygen and appropriate equipment are located at various areas throughout the dental school.
  10. All clinical faculty, staff, and students will be certified in Basic Life Support and have AED training. All medical emergencies are documented in the patient’s dental record to include the date, nature of the emergency, vital signs, and any treatment performed as well as the resolution of the emergency. All medical emergencies require the completion of an Incident Report.
  11. Universal precautions for infection control will be utilized for all patient care. In clinical areas where there is a likelihood of exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials, eating, and drinking is prohibited and food/drink will not be kept in refrigerators, shelves, cabinets, or countertops.
  12. The Hazard Communication Program manual contains a list of all hazardous materials used in the College of Dental Medicine. A material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) will be kept for each hazardous chemical known to be present in the workplace. Eye wash stations are accessible in or near all clinical and laboratory areas where potentially hazardous materials are handled. An ongoing compliance assessment program will monitor that the standards for infection and biohazard control are met.
  13. All patients seeking acceptance to the College of Dental Medicine Comprehensive Care Program will be screened by faculty members. Patient needs are matched with student needs via continual feedback from the Patient Care Coordinator. Not all who seek care will be accepted.
  14. Request for radiographs is made by the attending faculty member with due consideration to the patient’s medical history, dental needs, and history of exposure. The request and number of radiographs is recorded in the Patient Radiation Exposure Record found in the back of the dental record. The requesting faculty member signs this record.
  15. Radiographs will be identified with the examination date, patient’s name, and Doctor’s name. The patient will be protected with a lead apron that includes a thyroid collar unless prohibited by the technique. The College of Dental Medicine Ionizing Radiation Control Policy is to be strictly followed by all clinical faculty, staff, and students.
  16. All patients accepted to the College of Dental Medicine Comprehensive Care Program will receive a complete clinical and radiographic examination in the Interdisciplinary Treatment Planning Clinic. A treatment plan is developed for each patient which will include the following:
    1. Sequential treatment which prioritizes care (Urgent vs. Routine)
    2. Patient needs
    3. Logical order of treatment
    4. Alternative treatment
    5. Risks of treatment
    6. Financial responsibilities of treatment. Patients will sign the informed consent section of the Treatment Plan Form after a thorough written and verbal explanation of the proposed treatment.
  17. Patients will be assigned to students for comprehensive care by the College of Dental Medicine Patient Care Coordinator. Assignment will take place in a timely manner.
  18. Comprehensive treatment will take place in the respective clinical specialty areas with strict adherence to the Clinical Division Standards of Care.
  19. The Patient Care Coordinator will conduct quality assurance patient record reviews for junior and senior students. Faculty on the Quality Assurance Committee will conduct biannual quality assurance audits.
  20. All patients must have an exit examination before they can be released from the College of Dental Medicine. This process assures quality of care, timeliness of treatment, and proper closure. Eligibility for an exit examination includes completion of the actual treatment, a radiographic review, an administrative review from the Patient Care Coordinator, completion of periodontal recall, and assessment of prosthodontic recall status.