To ensure Private Dental Practice Accreditation is reflective of and responsive to the needs of the dental profession, the Australian Dental Association (ADA) has worked collaboratively and exclusively with QIP to develop the Private Dental Practice Accreditation Program (the program).
As a voluntary, profession-led program, Private Dental Practice Accreditation aims to promote continuous quality improvement, implementation of best practice systems and processes, and reductions to clinical and business risk, while enhancing consumer confidence. This process also supports teams to build a culture of quality, educating and engaging staff in enhancing day-to-day operations, provides an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage.
The program is assessed against the six National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards, applicable to dentistry. The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) has confirmed that the accreditation program for private dental practices will not transfer to the NSQHS Standards (second edition) in January 2019, and will continue to be assessed against the NSQHS Standards (first edition).
Private Dental Practice Accreditation reassures patients and consumers that dental practices are adhering to industry regulations and guidelines and they are committed to quality improvement, patient safety and quality care.
Accredited dental practices establish a competitive advantage over non-accredited dental practices by promoting the quality and safety of services to patients and the local community.
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Pathways to accreditation
Practices participating in Private Dental Practice Accreditation receive support from both ADA and QIP, and with access to streamlined processes and useful resources, allocation of the time and effort required to achieve accreditation can be optimised.
Undertaking accreditation supports dental practices to commit to continuous quality improvement and formally demonstrates compliance with the NSQHS Standards that includes quality, safety and good governance.
The first cycle of accreditation, Introductory Dental Practice Accreditation, provides private dental practices with two years’ accreditation from the date accreditation is awarded. For each subsequent cycle, accreditation is awarded for three or four years, depending on the pathway your practice chooses.
Dependant on the chosen accreditation pathway, dental practices will be required to undergo assessment via a desk-top audit, telephone interview, on-site assessment or a combination.
Introductory Dental Practice Accreditation
- Registration – Practices register for Private Dental Practice Accreditation through ADA's website, gaining immediate access to accreditation support and resources required to begin the quality improvement journey.
- Self-assessment is conducted internally against the NSQHS Standards applicable to dentistry.
- Application of self-assessment to QIP.
- Assessment – A QIP Assessor team conducts a desk-top assessment to review the practice’s compliance against the relevant NSQHS Standards. The QIP Assessor team will prepare a survey report for submission to QIP.
- Decision - An independent decision is made about a practice’s accreditation status by a QIP Accreditation Decisions Maker.
- Monitoring – A practice achieves accreditation and continues to implement improvements. As part of this monitoring process, a mid-cycle report is submitted to QIP.
Subsequent accreditation cycles
Once a dental practice has been through their initial round of accreditation, they enter their re-accreditation cycles. Practices have the option of three re-accreditation pathways:
- Desk-top assessment only – three (3) year cycle,
- Desk-top assessment with a phone interview – four (4) year cycle, and
- Desk-top assessment with on-site assessment – four (4) year cycle.
Benefits of accreditation
Reassures patients and the local community of a health services’ commitment to deliver quality-focused services and care.
Reduce business risk
Allows for ongoing review, monitoring & improvement of systems, processes & culture; enabling risk management & mitigation.
Educating and engaging a health service’s team in the process of quality improvement can build a culture of quality among staff.
Offers confidence to patients of the service delivery and care provided and can assist health services to meet regulatory requirements for funding incentives.
Reflects a health service’s commitment to continuous quality improvements in systems, processes, policies, culture, risk management and staff management.
Provides opportunities to identify areas for improvement and implement solutions to enhance patient care and service experiences.