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Should you hug your patients?

Probably not, but I do love this picture of a metaphorical embrace, which elegantly illustrates how important it is to remember, in amongst all the panic about UDAs and CQC that there is a patient attached to every tooth we treat, and that caring deeply for our patients sits at the heart of dental practice growth and success.

I am often contacted by people standing somewhere in the middle of the fragile bridge between commercialism and professionalism, wanting to provide the best possible service for their patients but finding it economically challenging to do so, fed up with red tape ( and rightly so!) and looking for a way to get off the proverbial treadmill.

At Dentabyte our main focus is on dental practice management training to help practices develop a transformational growth strategy underpinned by sound operational management systems. This is an inexpensive approach requiring a strong handle on knowing your numbers, producing targeted marketing campaigns and taking a sustainable approach to embedding Quality Assurance in every day systems, not becoming distracted by box ticking compliance.

CQC will be changing their approach from one which feels like box ticking compliance to an assessment of whether a practice is meeting:

LEVEL 1 - Fundamental of care: These minimum standards include all legal requirements and risk management processes to protect people using services from harm or discomfort. This is basic risk management.

LEVEL 2 - Expected standards: These are higher standards that patients can expect. Service should be:

  1. Safe - for people using services

  2. Effective – provides the right care at the right time by the right people

  3. Caring – shows compassion, respect, dignity and personalised care for patients

  4. Responsive – to the population served and to the changing needs of individuals

  5. Well led – at all levels of the practice in an open, fair and transparent culture that learns from feedback to continually make improvements.

LEVEL 3 - High – quality care: These are excellence standards seen in clinical governance frameworks * or set out in “best practice” guidelines for delivering clinically effective care such as:

  1. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) clinical guidelines

  2. Delivering Better Oral Health by the Department of Health

  3. Clinical Guidelines from the Royal College of Surgeons

  4. Specialist society guidelines

Find out more from page 16 of A New Start.

At Dentabyte we are updating our policies and procedures to help all our clients to be able to deliver and demonstrate sound risk management processes and delivery of high quality care monitored by a robust quality assurance programme, mapped clearly to the new approach outlined above.

Our aim is to ensure our clients are highly rated - both by their patients and by regulators.

After all the best barometer for assessing quality is the patient.

Keep well and keep learning.

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