The legalities of owning and running a dental practice can be complicated, but ensuring that your practice is compliant with the laws will be helpful in running a successful dental clinic and safeguarding not only your level of patient care but your reputation too.
Here are some important laws you need to consider for running a dental clinic.
There are 5 divisions in dental health care that are based on education, training and competence. These are dentists, dental hygienists, dental prosthetics, dental therapists and oral health therapists. Dentists need to obtain a licence to practice from the state’s health authorities and only then can they run a clinic. Also, within each division, registered dental practitioners must only perform those dental procedures for which they are qualified and trained and in which they are competent so as to provide best possible care to their patients.
You need to get approvals for opening and running a dental clinic. Approvals for setting up a clinic include shop and establishment registration, bio-waste disposal and approval from the fire and water department. Getting approvals is a tedious task and might take longer than you think, so make a list of all the approvals you need and then consult a property lawyer in Melbourne to get them in one go so you do not have to wait for long.
The dental clinic should be administered in a manner that ensures high-quality health services while recognising patient rights. The dental clinic should have policies describing organisational structure, including authority, responsibilities, supervision of personnel and accountability. All dental clinics should have a Medical Director that establishes policies and is responsible for the activities of the facility and the staff. He/she shall ensure that all the procedures are carried out by or under the direction of a qualified, skilled and experienced licensed dentist.
Patient’s privacy and rights policy should be followed. Each patient should be treated with respect, consideration and dignity. The patient should be provided with information regarding their diagnosis, evaluation, treatment options and prognosis. Also, patients have the right to request information about treating dentist’s scope of practice and licence.
The dental facility should be clean and properly maintained with all necessary equipment and should have adequate lighting and ventilation. The space allocated for the practice should be in compliance with the Health Facility Guidelines. The physical layout of the dental clinic should be in such a way so as to facilitate easy cleaning. The floor, walls and ceiling should be made of a nonporous material that doesn’t harbour micro and macro organisms and dirt. All the clinics should follow good clinical dental practice.
Good ventilation inside the dental facility is important to remove odours, fumes, condensation and to keep the facility cool and comfortable. All the equipment used in patient care should be inspected, maintained and tested on a regular basis by pharmacological agents. The facility should also have appropriate fire fighting equipment, signage, lighting and evacuation plan.
In compliance with the Federal Law regarding special need rights, each dental clinic should have a facility to accommodate differently-able individuals. The following requirements are mandatory by law – handicap parking near dental facility and wheelchair ramp within the building and elevators. Doors and dental room should permit access to wheelchair and handicapped accessible toilet rooms within the facility.