Quality assurance (QA) and risk management (RM) programs are intended to improve patient care, meet accreditation standards, and ensure compliance with liability insurance policies. The purpose of this project was to obtain and disseminate information on whether dental schools integrate QA and RM and what mechanisms have been most effective in measuring accomplishments in these programs. All sixty-five U.S. and Canadian dental schools were sent a twenty-nine-item survey, and forty-six (71 percent) schools responded. The main findings are as follows: 66 percent had a written QA program combined with a QA committee; 95 percent received administrative support; there was wide variation in the makeup of the QA committee; many institutions reported significant changes resulting from the QA program; and over half of the respondents merged QA and RM in some fashion. To develop or maintain an effective QA/RM program, the authors propose the following: obtain active support from the dean; develop goals and mission/vision statements; include trained personnel on the committee; establish wide levels of involvement in the QA program; develop QA measurements to ensure compliance with institutionally developed standards of patient care; and establish continuous cycles of improvement.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/nader-nadershahi/43/