Myths and facts about Minnesota's new safe patient handling statute and your dental practice.

Stephen Shuman, Peggy Simonson, Breca Tschida, Mary Owen, John Ofstehage, Patricia Glasrud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the passage of a safe patient handling statute in 2009, Minnesota became one of a growing number of states requiring health care providers to become more aware and accountable about providing appropriate assistance during the movement of patients in clinical care settings. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry and the Minnesota Dental Association have been working together to ensure that Minnesota's SPH regulations are as practical as possible for dental providers while still achieving the objectives of the statute. A template Safe Patient Handling Program for Clinics has been developed with substantial input from MDA's ESNA Committee and is now available on the DLI website: All Minnesota dental practices should use this template to develop their own safe patient handling program as soon as possible. Additional background information and resources related to Minnesota's SPH regulations are also available on the DLI website. MDA and DLI are currently also developing a hazard assessment tool for dental practices to assess their specific risks associated with patient movement. This hazard assessment will, in turn, guide decisions about what type of safe patient handling equipment and staff training will be necessary for total compliance with the new statute. MDA, in cooperation with DLI, will continue to keep dental professionals informed about when these materials will be available. Additionally, MDA is working to ensure appropriate training options will be available for compliance with SPH regulations. The University of Minnesota's School of Dentistry's Oral Health Services for Older Adults Program and Department of Continuing Dental Education have been regularly providing such training in conjunction with the school's "Miniresidency in Nursing Home and Long-term Care for the Dental Team," and efforts are now underway at the dental school to create stand-alone training options for Minnesota's dental professionals. Further information about SPH training may also be found on the DLI website ( MDA members can also contact MDA's Elderly and Special Needs Adults Committee via the MDA central office.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-16
Number of pages4
JournalNorthwest dentistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2011


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