Florida Focus, a peer-reviewed journal published by the Florida Academy of General Dentistry, invited Senior Patient Safety Risk Manager Sue Boisvert, BSN, MHSA, DFASHRM, to write a three-part series focusing on patient safety in dentistry. The articles, republished here, provide important strategies for enhancing communication and documentation skills and responding to adverse events.
Part 1: Communication
Effective communication improves teamwork and creates a safer environment for patients. It can also enhance patient engagement and satisfaction and reduce the risk of professional liability claims, even if an adverse event occurs.
Part 2: Documentation
The primary purpose of documentation is to create an orderly chronological record of the clinical decision-making process, treatment provided, and patient responses. Records that are incomplete or inaccurate may lead to inappropriate treatment and patient harm.
Part 3: Managing Adverse Events in the Practice Setting
When an adverse event occurs in a dental practice, providers and staff must be prepared to respond appropriately. A well-managed response includes caring for the patient, investigating the event, taking necessary action, and reporting the event appropriately as required.