Accreditation update – you have choices.

Dental Practices have a choice in who they use for accreditation. Two agencies now provide accreditation for Dental Practice. QIP will be familiar to ADA members but now HDAA offer accreditation with an alternative pricing structure.
Non-ADA members should really look seriously at HDAA.

How do agencies qualify to provide accreditation?

Accreditation is regulated by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare. This is the organisation that set the healthcare standards against which practices are accredited. There are about 8 different agencies that can accredit against the National standards. To my knowledge only 2 have chosen to dental practice accreditation.

Is one accreditation more highly regarded than the other?

No! Same standards used.
QIP provides ADA templates. QIP has a set list of requirements to pass accreditation. These are available to any ADA member. The relationship between the ADA and QIP is, I think unique in accreditation and probably will not remain the same now accreditation has become more common place. For practices doing QIP accreditation and using the  ADA templated policies they will find them full of statement that “we will do ‘xyz'”. While the dental practice agrees to do many things, it is unlikely that anyone will ever require you to provide any evidence that you have done any of them.
HDAA accreditation is assessed in a manner that is more akin to that required by other healthcare organisations. HDAA requires more documented evidence that you are conforming to the National Standards (e.g. doing the things you say you are doing within the ADA template policies). The level of evidence required by HDAA still takes into account the fact that we are dental practices and not major hospitals.

How does Smartdentist work with either accreditation agency?

Smartdentist has been designed help you comply with both accreditation agencies and manage the requirements into the future. I am always happy to walk you through the accreditation requirements (or ‘nag’ you through them). There is no extra cost for this service.
QIP enrolled: If the ADA/QIP supplied an excel spread sheet for it…then we set up a simpler solution for storage of data online. Smartdentist is a content management system so we load your ADA template policies in web friendly format into SmartDentist (QIP paid up practices only).
As far as passing accreditation, Smartdentist system collects your evidence in the one evidence page so you or we can quickly see where you are up to.
HDAA: HDAA gives a list of requirements and Smartdentist has many executive reports and systems in place so you can actually do what you say you are doing! Smartdentist has templated policies covering the accreditation requirements so practices can use these or if you have previously used the ADA templates they will be a start to your HDAA accreditation.

Can you swap accreditation agencies?
Yes, once your accreditation comes up for renewal you can move to either agency.

Are Accreditation Standards and Requirements going to change?

“The Commission is developing a set of national safety and quality standards specifically for primary health care services. It is expected that these standards will be available for implementation from 2020. Public dental services and private dental practices will transition to the primary care standards once they are implemented..” From the Commission website.

It will be interesting to see what these standards look like. Every other healthcare organisation has moved to another set of healthcare standards (ed 2) except for private dental practices. The new standards for healthcare are more complex to pass. The Commission is also going to introduce ‘short notice’ assessments for other healthcare organisations. [that would be fun].
When the accreditation requirements change Smartdentist can automate to any new requirements.

Will accreditation become mandatory?
Best guess – no. Accreditation started in 2013 so non-accredited dental surgeries have saved themselves quite a bit so far.
Medibank Private preferred providers now need to be accredited so there is a possibility that the process will be driven by health funds in the future.

What is Smartdentist recommendation about accreditation?
There is no evidence at all that accreditation will be easier because the ADA has involved dentists in the process. There is no evidence that accreditation will be cheaper if you do it now instead of in the future.
Accreditation is great for change management for the average dentist who owns a practice. e.g. “we have to do .xyz.. because of accreditation…”

You should join Smartdentist anyway. 🙂