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News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin November 2010
6 NOVEMBER 2010 Many of you will now know that the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has developed a set of National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards and a model national accreditation scheme for health services in Australia. The Commission will send the Standards and the model to Australian Health Ministers in November 2010 for their consideration. These changes have implications for dental practices nationally. As a result, dental practices will participate in accreditation of their service for the first time. In April 2008, Health Ministers agreed that accreditation would apply to all high-risk services. A high- risk service was defined as one that undertakes 'invasive' procedures into a body cavity or dissecting skin while using anaesthesia or sedation. This definition captures not only hospitals and day procedure services, but dental practices and some medical rooms. The Commission will therefore be recommending that all dental practices are accredited and that the process be established as a self-regulated scheme, driven by the industry through the Australian Dental Association Inc. (ADA). This provides both flexibility and control by the industry. The model national accreditation program proposes that the ADA regulate accreditation processes, so it is in control of how dental practices are supported to achieve accreditation and what would be the impact for a service of not meeting the Standards. This self-regulatory process would, however, be subject to an evaluation and review process by the Commission. A more rigorous regulatory regime would only be considered if there was to be a continued low rate of participation or persistently poor performance by health services against the Standards. THE STANDARDS Ten National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards have been developed and were released for public consultation in September 2010. They cover areas such as healthcare-associated infection, medication safety and patient identification. A copy of the draft Standards can be downloaded from the Commission's website at www.safetyandquality.gov.au. Six dental practices also took part in piloting of the Standards during mid 2010. While the process identified areas for improvement, overall there was a high level of compliance with the Standards. The information from the pilot was used to refine the Standards and will be used to develop practice guides and training material. HOW IT WILL WORK Under the model national accreditation scheme the ADA, dental practices, accrediting agencies and the Commission would all have separate but interrelated roles. THE PARTICIPATION OF DENTAL PRACTICES in a national model accreditation scheme
ADA News Bulletin October 2010
ADA News Bulletin December 2010