The Challenge – can we create a Dental Compliance Healthcheck?
We recently set ourselves a challenge here at iComply:
‘If a practice joins iComply because they are seriously concerned about their compliance could the software handhold them through a self-inspection and then tell them exactly what they need to do to close their gaps – including providing the relevant documents and allowing the user to make notes, so that they would be ready for inspection?’
Well, I’m delighted to say that after a few months of hard work it now can!
Far superior to a simple ‘mock’ or ‘virtual’ inspection tool that would just tell you what you’re doing wrong, the iComply Healthcheck has been built on a solid foundation of 40 years’ experience in providing solutions and consultancy to the Dental Profession.
The Dental Compliance Healthcheck is the first of iComply’s ‘intelligent tools’. These are tools built with an understanding of how things go wrong and where they go wrong. We know where people in practices routinely make mistakes, we know what the right answers on an audit should be, which validation tests you should be doing for a specific machine and most importantly – how to fix any compliance situation. We’re now taking all of that knowledge and putting it into iComply tools, so you don’t have to do the hard and unnecessary work.
The future is exciting – we’re excited here at iComply and we hope you join us on this journey.
At iComply we have been research led on compliance since 2014. We’ve analysed thousands of inspection reports, identified trends and closely monitored the evolution of how regulators such as the CQC both think and inspect.
As the largest provider of compliance and management solution to the dental profession (2000 practices) in the UK we also have an exceptionally busy helpline and our members enjoy helping us to stay ahead of the curve. With at least one iComply practice being inspected each week before the pandemic and our team adept at debriefing members after inspection, this constant feedback loop has enabled us to constantly tweak iComply content and workflow.
Additionally, 40 years of experience helping the profession, over a decade of our consultants performing practice visits and many ex-practice managers and owners as part of the historic team it is fair to say that we have our finger on the pulse of what a practice needs to do to meet the ever changing goalposts. More importantly we understand where human beings routinely make mistakes when performing compliance tasks.
This cumulative knowledge has been built into the new iComply Dental Compliance Healthcheck tool.
We appreciate that the above is easy to say, but let us give you a real, tangible example of how this new exciting tool goes beyond simply asking someone if they’ve done an audit or have an emergency drugs log in place.
Our experience from carrying out hundreds of practice inspections has shown us that it is not enough to ask whether a practice has an emergency drugs log in place, being completed every week etc. The critical question is whether or not the manager has checked that the log is accurate and reflects the reality (stock and expiry dates) of the actual drugs in the practice. Unfortunately, when this oversight is not in place, team members will quite often just tick the box without checking expiry dates and something inevitably goes out of date.
Another example is whether audits have been carried out by someone competent and trained in the audit subject. You’d be surprised how often Infection Control Audits are delegated to someone who does not know what the right answers are or hasn’t had any training in HTM01-05. The critical question to ask here is whether the manager has double checked the quality of the audit and that the correct follow up actions have been scheduled and dealt with.
These are just two examples of the many lessons we have learnt through the hundreds of practice visits our consultancy team has performed over the years. All of this learning has been built into the iComply Healthcheck. The first of iComply’s ‘Intelligent Tools’
What’s in a Healthcheck?
In a nutshell, when someone now joins iComply they will be asked if they would be happy to be inspected by a regulator and if the answer is ‘yes’ then they’ll be set up with the standard iComply cycle of compliance.
If the answer is ‘no’ then the practice will be presented with a list of 200 ‘intelligent’ questions covering all the key compliance areas that a regulator would look at to the depth that a iComply inspector knows is necessary. After finishing those questions, the member will be given a score for each area and a list of clear actions, with templates to adopt where required, and comments boxes so they can show an inspector what they did to close their compliance gaps. This means that if a practice is inspected while they are working through the Healthcheck they have a clear plan to show an inspector what they have found, what they have done and what they are planning to do.
Once the practice has caught up they will then be set up on the standard iComply annual cycle, confident that they have caught up in all critical areas.
Is this for me?
If you’re concerned about your compliance and thinking of joining iComply – now is the perfect time! This tool will help you make a smooth transition to the iComply system while identifying and closing your critical gaps.
Author: Alex O’Neill – iComply’s Head of Compliance
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