Why should you seek accreditation?

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The major benefit of seeking accreditation for your practice is that it gives you a clearly-defined way of measuring how compliant you are with the many regulations and guidelines governing the dental profession, and a system through which you can continually improve how you operate.

 You might also undertake accreditation:
•To improve the day-to-day running of your practice
• As a way of measuring the effectiveness of changes to the way you run your practice
• To reduce risk of incidents
• To give you an effective way of marketing your practice
• To demonstrate to your patients your commitment to safety and quality

Documenting the way you operate

The prospect of being asked to demonstrate that your practice meets the requirements of the stringent National Safety and Quality Health Services Standards (NSQHS Standards) that are applicable to the dental profession might seem a little daunting.

But at its heart, practice accreditation is simply about documenting your existing practice procedures and potentially introducing a few new ones in the interest of continually improving your practice’s performance and its compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements.

The reality is that your practice will likely have many of those processes and procedures in place already; all you are being asked to do is document them, improve them where necessary and make sure they meet the required standards.

If you don't think you have enough time in your day to accommodate practice accreditation, the good news is that you generally have a full 12 months to get your documentation in order for submission to the accrediting agency who will conduct the accreditation audit. Most practices, however, are able to complete the process in a much shorter timeframe.

To help make meeting the NSQHS Standards even easier, the ADA has tailored a full suite of accreditation templates, with each one addressing a required piece of evidence. These templates allow you to outline what your practice is currently doing, while also offering you the ability to add in any new procedures you need to introduce.

Supported all the way

You're not alone in this process. Getting ready to submit your documentation is a collaborative effort with your entire team supported by staff from your ADA Branch who will work with you to ensure everything you submit is up to the required standard.

And the good news is there is no such thing as “failing” practice accreditation. You are given as many chances as you need to fix any deficiencies in your submission, with your ADA branch helping you to rectify any gaps.

Click here to learn more about what’s involved