What is Accreditation?
Accreditation is voluntary for private practices and aims to promote continuous quality improvement.
The program is responsive to the needs and expectations of the dental profession and provides an evidence-based approach to accreditation by focusing on the six National Safety and Quality Health Services which are applicable to dentistry;
- Governance for Safety and Quality in Health Service Organisations.
This includes professional, clinical and administrative processes, i.e using statistical healthcare data to analyse and improve patient care.
- Communicating with consumers
Using communication strategies and decision support tools that tailor treatment to the consumer and deliver patient-centered care. This standard highlights the importance of health literacy in order to educate the patient on their options and control of their dental health.
- Preventing and Controlling Healthcare Associated Infections
This includes procedures for hygiene, staff immunisation and sterilising devices.
- Medication Safety
Things such as medication reconciliation which means that the medicines the patient should be using match those that are prescribed.
- Patient Identification and Procedure Matching
Risks to patient safety occur when there is a mismatch between a given patient and components of their care, whether these components are diagnostic, therapeutic or supportive.
- Clinical Handover
This work focuses on communication between the patient and dentist, and improving handover communication across a range of healthcare settings to ensure safer treatment of individual patient conditions. Where the patient’s medical history is not known, it may pose risks to the patient if they are undergoing conflicting procedures or taking multiple medications. This standards aims to minimise that risk.
How does Accreditation impact patients?
Achieving accreditation demonstrates a commitment to the provision of excellent dental practice and continuous improvement.
Accreditation is designed to protect the community by effectively regulating health practitioners in the public interest to facilitate access to safer healthcare. Accreditation is not compulsory, however it ensures a high standard of healthcare.
How do you get Accredited?
The Dental Board of Australia is responsible for the regulation of dental practitioners. Accreditation is provided via QIP. The Scheme encourages private dental practices to adopt the NSQHS into existing quality systems.
The accreditation cycle is two years from the date accreditation is awarded and assists practices in the establishment of quality systems.
Accredited practices must meet certain standards of education & training, health & safety, and quality practicing procedures.
These standards are also published on the Australian Dental Council website.