Quality Assurance Policy
At Somerford House, we aim to provide dental care of a consistent quality for all patients, meeting the high standards expected in any clinical setting. All members of the dental team should understand their role in providing our patients with high standards of dental care.
The policies, systems and processes in place in our practice, reflect our professional and legal responsibilities and follow recognised standards of good practice. We provide training to ensure all team members are competent and confident to undertake the duties that are expected of them. we evaluate our systems and processes on a regular basis through audits, peer review and patient feedback.
We work with various external agencies to ensure our understanding of professional and legal requirements is up to date.
Quality Standards and Procedures
In providing patients with care of a consistent quality, we will:
- Provide a safe and welcoming environment
- Ensure all members of the dental team are appropriately trained
- Provide patients with information about the practice and the care available and ensure that they understand the terms on which care is offered
- Display indicative treatment charges
- Explain all treatment options and agree on clinical decisions with the patient explaining the possible risks involved with each
- Provide treatment plans based on the patient’s choice, with an estimate of the likely costs
- Obtain valid consent is for all treatment and written consent where the treatment is extensive or expensive or provided under conscious sedation
- Refer to specialists for investigation, advice or treatment as appropriate, and without undue delay
- Maintain contemporaneous clinical records with an up-to-date medical history
- Store patient records securely to ensure patient confidentiality
- Ensure information about how to provide feedback or make a complaint is readily available for patients and includes a named practice contact
- Provide a safe working environment, identifying hazards and assessing the risks of each
- Provide induction training for all new team members
- Provide job descriptions and contracts of employment for all members of staff
- Review and update job descriptions annually to reflect current duties and responsibilities
- Agree, in writing, the terms for all self-employed contractors working at the practice
- Provide ongoing training and identify development opportunities for all employees
- Maintain staff records and ensure that the following information is up to date:
- relevant medical history information
- emergency contact details
- absence through holiday and sickness
- performance reviews
- in house and external training
- Ensure that all staff are kept up to date with all practice policies and procedures, including patient charges and the relevant forms.
The Dental Team
All team members are expected to follow the practice policies and protocols, which can be found within the Staff Handbook. New team members receive training in practice-wide procedures, policies and quality assurance activities as part of their induction.
All team members should only undertake duties for which they have the skills and must understand how their role contributes to the services provided by the practice. Annual appraisal meetings provide the opportunity to assess individual training needs.
Everyone must understand their role in dealing with medical emergencies, including a collapsed patient, and are expected to participate in the annual training provided.
All GDC registrants meet their continuing professional development requirements and maintain records of their individual CPD activity. The practice will maintain records of any practice-wide training and individual training provided.
As part of monitoring the service we provide for patients, we undertake regular audits of our procedures and protocols and consider inputs, outputs, effectiveness and efficiency.
- Inputs: the total number of patients treated, and the number treated by specific groups
- Outputs: oral health achievements as a direct result of our intervention
- Effectiveness: patient views of our effectiveness in improving their oral health, and their levels of satisfaction
- Efficiency: patient retention rates, referrals to others for advice and/or treatment, and the quality of data collected
Each month, we record:
- Total number of patients seen
- New patients seen
- Failed appointments (and unused time)
- Waiting list numbers – for assessment and for treatment
- Patient safety incidents and the outcome of investigations
- Positive feedback and compliments
- Complaints and negative comments.
We record the following qualitative data:
- Audit results (patient and service) and improvements
- Complaint trends and actions taken to improve the service
- Waiting times and evidence of demand management
- Staffing and staff turnover
- CPD activity on an individual and practice-wide basis
- Case-mix of clinical presentation and procedure outcome
- Results of annual patient satisfaction survey on a sample number of patients.
Our clinical governance framework adheres to the following:
- Infection control
- Child protection
- Dental radiography
- Staff, patient, public and environmental safety assessment
- Evidence-based practice and research
- Prevention and public health
- Clinical records, patient privacy and confidentiality
- Staff involvement and staff development
- Clinical staff requirements and development
- Patient information and involvement handling, patient feedback
- Fair and accessible care
- Clinical audit and peer review.
Each team member understands their role in delivering a patient-focused service. We share information and encourage team members to raise concerns and suggest improvements. We also seek feedback from patients.
We monitor the implementation of and adherence to our policies and procedures. We review them on a regular basis to identify opportunities for improvement.
We allow for and encourage CPD, staff training and development
We are committed to supporting our patients towards achieving and maintaining good oral health. As part of this commitment, we
- Involve our patients in all aspects of their care and ensure that their needs and preferences are considered and that they can make informed decisions
- Ensure a safe environment by undertaking risk assessments and managing potential hazards within the practice. We follow current guidelines for infection control and decontamination
- Recruit staff that are competent to undertake the duties associated with their role and provide training where required. We encourage on-going professional development for all members of our team
- Monitor service quality and seek patients’ views to identify opportunities for improvement.
Review date: April 2022
Michelle Frank (Practice Manager)