In conjunction with the National Accreditation Scheme, the ten National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHS Standards) were introduced by the Australian Health Ministers in September 2011. Their purpose is to provide a nationally consistent statement of the level of care consumers should expect from health services. Of the ten in total, standards 1-6 apply to dental practices and they include:
- Governance for Safety and Quality in Health Service Organisations which describes the quality framework required for health service organisations to implement safe systems.
- Partnering with Consumers which describes the systems and strategies to create a consumer-centred health system by including consumers in the development and design of quality health care.
- Preventing and Controlling Healthcare Associated Infections which describes the systems and strategies to prevent infection of patients within the healthcare system and to manage infections effectively when they occur to minimise the consequences.
- Medication Safety which describes the systems and strategies to ensure clinicians safely prescribe, dispense and administer appropriate medicines to informed patients.
- Patient Identification and Procedure Matching which describes the systems and strategies to identify patients and correctly match their identity with the correct treatment.
- Clinical Handover which describes the systems and strategies for effective clinical communication whenever accountability and responsibility for a patient’s care is transferred.
In 2012, the Australian Dental Association in partnership with Quality in Practice (QIP), launched the Introductory Dental Practice Accreditation program, to assist dental practices in meeting the new National Standards. Denticare participated and has met all the requirements of the program. Today we continue to work alongside QIP in order to maintain our accreditation under the NSQHS standards. For more information on the NSQHS Standards please visit: www.safetyandquality.gov.au