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News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin October 2010
3 OCTOBER 2010 fEDERAL ELECTIOn In addition to advice outlined in the past two President’s Comments, I can report that the ADA has already had one meeting with the Federal Minister for Health regarding the best way to provide subsidised dental treatment for those Australians most in need. The ADA has also arranged meetings with the Opposition and the Greens. The ALP-Greens statement indicating that attention will be given to improve federal funding for dental care is welcome and the ADA will be offering assistance to ensure any scheme that will be introduced will be administratively simple and actually improve timely access to dental services for those currently unable to do so. E-HEALTH Federal, State and Territory governments have stated that an effective e-Heath system has the potential to provide significant benefits to patients and healthcare providers. Therefore, they established the National e-Health Transition Authority Limited (NEHTA) in 2008 to develop better ways of electronically collecting and securely exchanging health information. NEHTA has indicated that e-communications in health practice will occur by implementing and delivering early e-Health services for the most commonly exchanged health information. These are: • e-Pathology – seamless pathology results • e-Discharge Summaries – immediate, accurate patient records • e-Referrals – streamlining the handover of care • e-Medication Management – reducing the risks involved It would appear that the full application of the e-Health system to dentistry may be a year or two from now. However, systems such as e-Referrals and e-Medication Management may come sooner. In preparation to make this as seamless as possible for dentists, the ADA is already meeting with NEHTA and software suppliers, working to ensure e-Health’s application to dentistry is appropriate and ensuring the The Australian Schedule of Dental Services and Glossary remains the system to identify dental treatment. The ADA Practice Survey in 2007 indicated that 52 per cent of members used electronic records for charting and clinical use so, for many practices, there will be much to do as the e-Health system is implemented. Dentists should start planning to get ready now and could start implementing measures such as moving to electronic records and having a fast and reliable broadband connection for your practice. PRACTICE ACCREDITATIOn The ADA has been working with the Australian Commission of Safety and Quality in Healthcare (ACSQHC) regarding dental practice accreditation. This has included developing dental applications (evidence) to the draft National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (Standards) that, once adopted, are intended to apply across all healthcare settings. The ADA Special Purpose Committee has spent many hours on this exercise. The ACSQHC has conducted a pilot to test the draft Standards and six dental practices were involved in applying five draft Standards. The next stage is template development and other preparation for the Early Adopters Scheme; at the time of writing expressions of interest stand at about 120 with numbers increasing. Indications suggest that the success of the Early Adopters Scheme and a high voluntary participation for practice accreditation will enable the ADA to oversee self-regulation of dental practice accreditation, a much better alternative to the ACSQHC ’s proposed enforcement measures. It should be self- evident that the more practices that become involved the better it will be for all practices. I draw your attention to the article on page 20 and to look for further updates in future editions of the News Bulletin. Neil Hewson Federal President president’s comments “nEHTA has indicated that e-communications in health practice will occur... Dentists should start planning to get ready now and could start implementing measures such as moving to electronic records and having a fast and reliable broadband connection for your practice.”
ADA News Bulletin September 2010
ADA News Bulletin November 2010