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News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin March 2011
14 MARCH 2011 DENTAL PRACTICE ACCREDITATION Where is it at now and advice to the 'Early Adopters' RECENT DEVELOPMENTS Since late 2010 there have been significant developments in this area that have impacted upon the implementation and roll out of Dental Practice Accreditation (DPA). For some considerable time the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) had been seeking to impose a timetable for the introduction of DPA by 1 July 2011. The Australian Dental Association (ADA), in its discussions with the ACSQHC, has continued to seek to ensure that the DPA process that was developed, involved the creation of standards and processes that had clear demonstrable benefits to patients; were evidence-based and had a cost structure that was sustainable. Further, the standards needed to be in a straight forward style and format so as to be easily understood. There needed to be a patient focus and an ability to promote the use of continual quality improvement principles in the delivery of dental care and services. A major objective of the ADA was to ensure that the accreditation standards and processes were relevant to dental practice and not the adoption of protocols that were medical practice or hospital based. Some of the concerns described are dealt with in greater detail in the article published in the December 2010 ADA News Bulletin (page 20). The ADA was concerned that these messages were not being addressed adequately in the development of DPA. So, in November the ADA wrote to the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council (AHMAC) seeking to ensure that this body was aware of concerns that the ADA had observed in the development and implementation of DPA. This letter can be viewed at: www.ada. org.au/Members/dpa . Most ADA Branches sent similar letters to their respective State or Territory Health Minister. This correspondence has since lead to the ADA having two important meetings. Drs Fryer (ADA President) and Sachs (Chair of the ADA's Special Purpose Committee on DPA Implementation) together with the ADA Inc. CEO attended both meetings on behalf of the ADA. The first of these was with representatives of ACSQHC. The issues outlined above were repeated. In addition the point was made that the delay in the ACSQHC finalising its standards for DPA meant that implementation of accreditation had to be stalled. The ADA advised that despite working hard with its Committee and Quality in Practice (QIP) to develop the necessary Guides and Protocols to assist members apply the developing standards to their practices, a 1 July implementation date was now clearly not attainable. As a result of this meeting, the ACSQHC has recognised the concerns expressed by the ADA and has now abandoned its intended timetable for the introduction of DPA. Members are referred to the letter from ACSQHC to ADA in response to the meeting www.ada.org.au/Members/dpa. The second meeting was with Professor Michael Reid, the Chairman of AHMAC and a member of the ACSQHC Board. Professor Reid chairs AHMAC due to his position as Director- General of Queensland Health. Similar issues were raised at this meeting. Professor Reid indicated that Health Ministers (Federal, State and Territory) would not want to see DPA adversely impacting on the delivery of dental services in Australia and indicated that he would communicate the ADA's views to AHMAC and to ACSQHC. WHERE TO FROM HERE? The ADA has since consulted with QIP on implementation of DPA and the proposed Early Adopters' Scheme (EAS). Due to the need for the ACSQHC to finalise its standards, the introduction of DPA and the EAS will be now be delayed. Once this step is completed the ADA will continue working to create the necessary Guides and Protocols for the education of practices. This material will then be reviewed by the Special Purpose Committee on DPA Implementation, Branches and by Federal Council. Once done, Branches will then be educated in the processes so that the Federal office and Branches can then become the first points of contact for practices which need assistance or advice on DPA. With there being no clear timeframe in existence for these steps to occur, the immediate impact is that the intended meeting of EAS participants that had been envisaged as taking place prior to Congress, will be now be deferred. WATCH THIS SPACE Members are advised to check the ADA website for updates in relation to development of DPA and the EAS. Members wishing to discuss developments, please to contact the ADA on 02 9906 4412. Robert Boyd-Boland Chief Executive Officer
ADA News Bulletin February 2011
ADA News Bulletin April 2011