Indemnity Insurance – what are the requirements?

Date posted: May 6, 2016

 

For many years, GDC registrants have been required to have appropriate indemnity arrangements in place so that patients can claim any compensation to which they may be entitled. This requirement is part of the GDC Standards.

However, since July 2014, all registered healthcare professionals are legally required to have indemnity cover.

The GDC changed the registration rules so that dentists and dental care professionals applying for registration or restoration, and those renewing their registration each year, will be required to tell the GDC that they have indemnity cover in place – or will have by the time they start practising.

The idea behind the change is that you won’t be able to register or renew your registration unless you can confirm to us that you have, or will have, cover in place. This will reduce the number of people working without cover.

It’s important to note that the requirement to ​have appropriate indemnity cover is not new and has not changed. The main difference that current registrants will notice is that when you renew your registration through eGDC each year, you will have to confirm that you have indemnity cover in place, or will have when you start to practise. If you don’t confirm this, you will not be able to renew your registration.

Some people may be asked to provide details of their policy to the GDC when they are applying for registration, applying for restoration, or when renewing their registration during the ARF period. Each individual applicant or registrant will need to know the details of their indemnity cover, and to provide details of these to the GDC if asked to do so.

If you do not have your own indemnity cover, for example you are covered under your employer’s policy, you will need to make sure you have, or can access, the details of the policy if the GDC ask you to provide them. If you are a dental laboratory owner with DCPs covered under your policy, you will need to make the appropriate information available to them should they need it.

The first group of dental professionals to have to make this declaration will be DCPs during the ARF collection period in summer 2016.

For further information or to access frequently asked questions regarding indemnity insurance, you can visit the GDC website at:

http://www.gdc-uk.org/dentalprofessionals/standards/pages/indemnity.aspx

 

The Benefits of becoming a DAMAS registered laboratory.

Date posted: May 3, 2016

 

What is DAMAS?

The Dental Appliance Manufacturers Audit Scheme (DAMAS) is a quality assurance management system, similar to systems such as ISO 9001, but has been simplified and tailored specifically towards the dental industry. It provides the opportunity for laboratories to become certified as a laboratory that is in compliance with the law.

There are many benefits to being able to call yourself a DAMAS laboratory:

Retaining clients:

As more and more clients, (particularly bigger corporate clients) look for a straightforward way to select their labs, some are now specifying that they will only use labs with such proven registrations (DAMAS).

The potential to attract new clients:

As the number of DAMAS laboratories continues to grow, when seeking out new laboratories to try, clients will know at a glance that you have proven your labs compliance to the law and a commitment to quality.

Promotion for your laboratory:

Once registered your laboratory will be published on the DAMAS website, making it easier for people to find you.

Peace of mind:

Knowing that your laboratory is in conformity with the requirements of the MDD and MDR, for you and your clients.

A simple to follow management system:

A simple system to help ensure the smooth day-to-day running of your business.

CPD:

After having implemented the system and passed your first external       audit, you and your staff will be eligible to receive verifiable CPD.

Becoming DAMAS Registered:

There are a few routes that you can take to start the process:

Using the DAMAS Specification as a guide implement your own system.

Buy in the DLA DAMAS Implementation System and follow the guidance provided to implement the system.

If you have already bought the DAMAS folders from the DLA, but feel you do not have the time to implement the system yourself or would like more support, a DAMAS Consultant can come into your laboratory and implement your system for you.

For more information on any areas about becoming DAMAS registered or for more details on the amount of CPD you could claim as a DAMAS laboratory please feel free to contact the DAMAS office, via the DLA on 0115 925 4888 or email to info@damas.co.uk

 

DAMAS Internal Audits, when do these need to be undertaken?

Date posted: April 5, 2016

 

If you are already a registered DAMAS laboratory, you will know that as part of the system you need to conduct Internal Audits.

The frequency of the Internal Audits is up to you, they need to be conducted, as a minimum, annually, a little before your External Audit is due. Some laboratories choose to undertake Internal Audits quite frequently, and certainly for bigger laboratories, this can make it easier to keep on top of the system.

The purpose of the Internal Audit:

Conducting the Internal Audit gives the laboratory an accurate view and understanding of whether the DAMAS Compliance System is running effectively within the lab, and if it isn’t, why this is.

Once you have been through the Internal Audit process and recorded the findings on the internal audit format, the next thing to do is to undertake a Management Review.

The Purpose of the Management Review:

The Management Review is usually, conducted by more than one individual and follows on from the Internal Audit. The purpose is to assess the findings that arose during the Audit, and to see if any corrective action is required. If there are any issues uncovered, then a corrective action plan(s) can be formulated using this form.

 

The importance of effective purchasing

Date posted: March 29, 2016

 

All laboratories, need some kind of purchasing system in place to keep on top of their ordering. Maintaining an effective purchasing system can make a huge difference to the smooth running of your laboratory.

There are many ways of recording your purchasing, as DAMAS laboratories will know, recording what you order on one of the provided formats can make this process much simpler.

In order to keep track of what you have ordered, some form of purchase order record will be required.

A good purchase order form will allow you to easily record the following:

Opening the order:

– Which supplier you are ordering from

– What it is you are ordering

– When you have placed the order

– How you placed the order

After the order has been placed:

– Whether the order was received

– When the order was received

– Whether it was complete (or had things on back order for example)

– Whether items have been substituted for other items

– Whether any items need chasing up

When orders are received having a purchase order to make additional notes on is always very useful for traceability purposes, recording of lot and invoice numbers.

Evaluating new materials or processes?

Date posted: March 22, 2016

 

Are you thinking of introducing a new material or process such as CAD CAM or Flexible Dentures into your lab?

It is a good idea, regardless of whether you are a DAMAS laboratory or not, that you take time to effectively evaluate new materials and processes, before fulling implementing them.

New materials:

Common reasons for introducing new materials:

– Recommendations

– A favourite material has been discontinued

– A new process or technology requires specific materials

New processes:

Common reasons for introducing new processes:

– A new technique to make an existing process easier

– A modern, time saving technology

– The expansion of laboratory product lines

– The expansion of the laboratory as a whole

– Frequent requests for a certain type of appliance have made the introduction worthwhile

Apart from doing research before committing, conducting thorough evaluations is key to ensuring that the new process or material will work within your laboratory.

An important thing to remember is that you should (and already will, if you are a DAMAS lab) maintain lists of approved materials and suppliers. If at any point the new product is included in an appliance for a genuine patient case, the material must be added to the approved materials list. There is a material / process evaluation form provided with the DAMAS system for you to fill out as part of your evaluation process.

DAMAS – Complaints Procedure

Date posted: March 15, 2016

 

Recording of complaints is a necessary task, it can however sometimes be difficult for laboratories to decide how best to do this and even what they should class as a complaint. Ultimately labs should use their own judgement, helped by following the appropriate guidelines to make these decisions. The process helps laboratories to highlight trends, whether these be reoccurring issues with specific clients, problems with materials, or training needs of staff members for example.

The purpose of the Complaints Procedure:

The complaints procedure exists to ensure that laboratories record any adverse communication between themselves and clients or prescribers and that any such communications are followed up, analysed and resolved using a step by step process (as discussed in more detail below). Recording these steps as they occur, provides a means of preventing the reoccurrence of the same issues, and provides written evidence of your efforts to resolve them.

Recording your Complaints:

There are specific steps to be followed when recording a complaint in your Complaints Log:

The Customer details and nature of complaint

Whether the complaint is justified or not

What the action is (for unjustified complaints)

What the action is (for unjustified complaints)

The cause of the complaint

The corrective action taken / to be taken to resolve complaint

Any follow up action needed to verify that complaint has been resolved

A signature and date to confirm the closure of the complaint.

 

It is important to remember that all laboratories should maintain thorough records of complaints. As a DAMAS laboratory you will have been provided with a Complaints Log format as part of the system to make this process much easier. You can enter the information onto the log using your computerised version or handwrite onto a printed hardcopy, whichever you prefer.

Laboratories with computerised booking in systems:

Some laboratories may be choosing to record some aspects of their complaints, on their booking in systems (Labtrac for example). If you have a system such as Labtrac in place, you can choose to record your ‘remakes’ on that system, by checking a box at the point of booking in the job. If this is the case you can then choose to use the DAMAS provided Complaints Log for any complaints that are not classed as remakes. This would mean it would run well in conjunction with the Labtrac remakes record, but you must make sure that the same information is inputted into Labtrac as is entered into the DAMAS Complaints Log to ensure compliance.

For DAMAS labs that don’t have a system like Labtrac, or that just prefer to record all types of complaints in one place, can do this for quick, easy reference, using the provided DAMAS format.

If you would like any more information on the complaints procedures or any other aspect of the DAMAS system, please don’t hesitate to contact the DLA office by phone on 0115 925 4888 or by email on info@damas.co.uk.