Turn a new leaf on support

14 October, 2010 / Infocus

Earlier this year, an online ‘Practice Support Manual’ (PSM) was launched by the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP). The PSM is designed to become a first port of call for advice on a range of non-clinical aspects of running and managing a modern dental practice.

Initially, the PSM included advice on record keeping; risk management; medical emergencies and life support; audit and significant event analysis. Another topic – ethical practice (including data protection, freedom of information, child protection, consent) – has recently been added, with more to follow.

The PSM includes template forms, policies and checklists to help in following the advice provided and is of relevance to all members of the dental team.

The PSM is freely available to practices in Scotland at http://www.psm.sdcep.org.uk. To register for access, use the link on the homepage and follow the instructions.

SDCEP is also developing guidance entitled Oral Health Assessment and Review (OHAR). This follows an extensive consultation and subsequent discussion with general dental practitioners to better understand concerns about the draft guidance and how it could be made more suitable for use in practice.

The net result of this is an amended version that will present the concept of OHAR without a lot of detail. Example forms for recording information that underpins this approach will be provided.

The OHAR guidance aims to facilitate long-term, individualised patient care with an emphasis on prevention. Many practices will already be providing care for many of their patients in a way that reflects this approach. However, for others, this may represent a significant change to current practice and will inevitably take time to implement. Clearly, there are wider implications and challenges associated with adopting this approach that need to be understood and thought through.

To this end, working with volunteer practices to explore implementation will be crucial and recruitment will begin shortly. If you are interested in taking part, please let the SDCEP office know (see details right).

Finally, SDCEP has a remit to provide user-friendly guidance on topics identified as priorities for dentistry in Scotland with the aim of supporting dental teams in delivering quality care for their patients. In the last edition of Scottish Dental magazine, two topical issues were featured that are also being tackled by SDCEP.

The first is decontamination. Sterilisation of Dental Instruments is nearing publication and follows previous SDCEP guidance on instrument cleaning. The second part of the decontamination guidance has taken a considerable time to agree and write, which reflects the complexity of this subject and the effort involved in working through this.

The second issue is the development of guidance on the oral health management of patients prescribed bisphosphonates. While of particular relevance to dentists and these patients, it is also important that prescribers and dispensers of bisphosphonates are aware of the very rare, but serious oral health implications of taking these drugs and how to advise patients about minimising their risk of developing complications.

Consequently, this guidance is directed to a range of healthcare professionals and it may include patient information. A draft of the guidance is being made available for consultation during October with a view to publishing the finalised guidance in the spring.

About the author

Doug Stirling is Programme Development Manager, Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP).

SDCEP is an initiative of the National Dental Advisory Committee and operates within NHS Education for Scotland (NES). To learn more about SDCEP, visit the website at www.scottishdental.org/cep

For enquiries, emailor phone 01382 425751.

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