Traceability and unnecessary confusion from ADA Inc

On 1st Oct 2015 the new ADA Guidelines for Infection Control were released and include the statement that “the ADA does not support traceability”.
However the ADA supported dental practice accreditation program was changed on the 8th Sept 2015 so that a ‘traceability’ system is now a compulsory requirement of dental practice accreditation.

Wow, are you a bit confused? And if you are a dentist or dental practice manager you are not the only one confused.

Has the ADA decided to drop dental practice accreditation?
I don’t believe so.

The confusion has occured because the ADA ICC has decided to define traceability as a protocol whereas other organisations such as Standards Australia AS 4815 (Office -based reprocessing…) or Standards Australia 4187 define it less prescriptively. The ACSQHC which governs dental practice accreditation requires traceability but they also say that this is a term that will vary depending on your healthcare context.

The ADA Guidelines for Infection Control 2015 state “BCI (Batch Control Identification) is clearly designated as a mandatory requirement in AS/NZS 4815 and AS/NZS 4187.” However AS/NZS 4187 doesn’t appear to mention BCI or Batch Control Identification. AS/NZS 4187 appears to call these same actions as  ‘traceability’.

The definition of traceability shows how strongly ADA ICC feel for their current definition of traceablity as a protocol. In the 19 years I served as a member of this Committee they were consistent with their current definition.

However as no-one else uses the term the same way perhaps the ADA could have made things less confusing for dentists if they had explained the differences (e.g. Standards Australia and the ACSQHC) and used the same terms the same way!

SmartDentist has a new CPD exercise for staff and dental practitioners on Traceability and the Dental Practice requirements. In this CPD exercise I tell you what we do in our own general dental practices so it may give you ideas for stream-lining a simple manageable system. I would like others to let me know clever ways they manage this requirement.

SmartDentist now also has a new templated Traceability Policy for practices that want to set out all the connecting parts of their traceability system clearly.

PS. I think the new ADA Guidelines for Infection Control are a great improvement in clarity and readability in most aspects.