Does the achievement of private dental practice accreditation impact Infection Prevention and Control compliance? A comparison of accredited and non-accredited dental practices.

Ms Kylie Robb1

1Australian Dental Association (NSW Branch), St Leonards, Australia


Private dental practice accreditation in Australia against the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards is voluntary, yet it is mandatory for hospitals, day surgery and public dental clinics. This study compared Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) compliance data of private office based dental practices (n=99) that had achieved accreditation (n=31), compared to dental practices that had not achieved accreditation (n=68).


A risk based criteria framework was employed to assess 99 private office based dental practice’s IPC systems and processes. An observational study of the aggregate data for both accredited and non-accredited practices were then separated, analysed and compared to determine whether accreditation impacted IPC compliance.


The average IPC compliance score for a practice that had achieved accreditation was 83%, compared to a score of 76% for a practice that had not achieved accreditation. The highest variation of scores for an accredited practice compared to a non-accredited practice related to hand hygiene (63% compared to 48%), documentation, knowledge and policy (78% compared to 53%), and environmental cleaning (81% compared to 74%).


This data demonstrates that there is a measurable IPC compliance benefit to practices that participate in the voluntary accreditation process.


Kylie is the Australian Dental Association (NSW Branch) Practice Services Manager in Sydney and has been instrumental in advocating for best practice in infection control standards while promoting the benefits of accreditation outcomes to hundreds of practice teams. She is a member of the Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control’s Education and Professional Development Committee, has a Master of Health Services Management in Clinical Leadership from the University of Technology, among many achievements. Kylie is a popular speaker, routinely presenting Infection Control and accreditation courses across the country. Kylie is a 2019 member of the coveted Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America’s International Ambassador Program.

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