Are You a High-Reliability Organization with Your Dental Practice?

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The COVID-19 pandemic has raised awareness about infection control and safety. As a result, patient and team wellbeing became our number one priority. Improved procedures were introduced, and teams were prepared to inform patients about the changes. Now is an excellent time to review the patient safety culture as a whole. High-reliability organizations are those that reliably mitigate and/or resolve adverse events amid risks (HROs). HROs, in particular, introduce protocols to detect and avoid adverse events. In healthcare, the word “adverse case” refers to patient injury that occurs as a result of medical treatment rather than the underlying condition. Adverse events include wrong-side surgery, prescribing the wrong drug or dosage, and disease transmission. Similarly, dentistry comes with its own set of threats, and adverse effects can occur from time to time. Even if an adverse accident does not occur, the possibility of a near miss still exists. A near miss, according to the Patient Safety Network (PSNET), is “any incident that might have had adverse effects but did not, which was indistinguishable in all but result from fully fledged adverse incidents.”

Patient safety is described by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) as “freedom from accidental injury.” Preventing patient harm is in line with the Hippocratic Oath, which states, “First, do no harm.” As a result, all healthcare practitioners agree to practice with the highest ethical standards possible. A mission statement or practice philosophy is used by all dental practices to create a work culture. Have you, on the other hand, developed a patient safety culture in your office? Are you certain that your practice is HRO and free of hidden dangers?

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Categories: Clinical, Dental