Laser and energy devices can drive cosmetic revenue in dermatology practices. But to reap the benefits and avoid what can be serious hazards, practices need to take deliberate and consistent steps, according to Patti Owens, R.N., M.H.A., C.M.L.S.O. (Certified Medical Laser Officer), who has made a career of teaching healthcare providers about laser and energy device safety.
Owens, who owns AestheticMed Consulting Services and Online Laser Training USA (OLTUSA), spoke on how to develop an energy device and laser safety program at the May 2017 Aesthetics and Medical Dermatology symposia in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
“It’s important to look at these various aspects of a safety program because it can definitely influence your design of facility-based policies and procedures and what safety controls you will need to implement in order to mitigate any potential hazards,” Owens says.
Owens cites six steps that are pivotal for a practice-based energy device and laser safety program, based on administrative controls summarized in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z136.3 2011 publication. The ANSI document provides recommended standards for the United States that are considered the benchmark for safe laser practice. These voluntary guidelines, which are consensus-based practices for all areas of laser use, are utilized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), some state regulatory agencies and state licensing boards, according to Owens.