Charter of Patient Rights
The Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights describes the rights of patients and other people using the Australian health system. These rights are essential to make sure that, wherever and whenever care is provided, it is of high quality and is safe.
Medland Dental aims to provide patients with appointments to meet their treatment needs. It is requested patients make an agreed appointment time and date to assist the scheduling process, notifying the practice where this appointment cannot be met. To assist patients to meet their appointments, we contact them by:
- SMS reminder
- Telephone call reminder
- Email reminder
- Postal reminder
- Recall system
The cancellation policy of Medland Dental requires 48 hours notice for cancellation of an appointment. Should the patient not attend an appointment or cancel without the required notice period, at the practice’s discretion as to whether a cancellation fee or rebooking fee is to be charged, and if so, what this amount may be. In the event we are unable to accommodate a patient’s request for an appointment at a specific time/date, consultation with the treating dental practitioner will be sought.
All patients are required to complete a full medical and medication history as accurately and completely as possible, to allow practitioners and staff to identify any circumstances that may increase the risks associated with dental care.
In the unlikely occurrence of an adverse event, dental practitioners at Medland Dental have a responsibility to be open and honest in communications with the patient involved, and families or carers if applicable.
It is the responsibility of the registered dental practitioner, in accordance with the Dental Board of Australia’s Code of Conduct for Registered Health Practitioners, to explain to the patient what happened and why, as well as offering support and advice with regard to how the situation can best be resolved or managed.
Upon recognising the occurrence of an adverse event, the dental practitioner will follow our Open Disclosure Process, which aligns with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare’s Open Disclosure Framework, as outlined below:
- Act immediately to rectify the problem, if possible, including seeking any necessary help and advice.
- Explain to the patient, in sufficient detail, so the patient understands what has occurred, including the anticipated short-term and long-term consequences.
- Acknowledge any patient distress and provide appropriate support.
- Develop a future management plan for the patient if required.
- Ensure that the patient has access to information about the process for making a complaint.
Medland Dental values all patients as a unique person and hope that at all times we can provide dental treatment in a manner that is respectful of their culture, beliefs, values and personal characteristics. Patients are asked to reciprocate this respect by being mindful of all staff and other patients.
Communication and decision making
Medland Dental respects the patient’s right to receive adequate information to make informed decisions regarding their health and healthcare. Consequently, all staff should continually demonstrate a commitment to providing patients with accessible and understandable information about their treatment and treatment options, including costs, proposed medications and risks involved. We do expect patients to actively participate in decisions and choices about their treatment and dental needs, involving family or carers where required.
This should also include maintaining suitable evidence that patients are fully informed about their proposed treatment and have been a partner in the development of their treatment plan. Such evidence will be monitored through the practices records monitoring and review processes.
Medland Dental’s Informed Consent Process
The initial examination of a patient shall be considered ‘implied consent’ to that procedure based on the booking of an appointment, attendance, and the patient allowing the physical examination to occur. Any subsequent treatment shall require the patient to make an informed decision and consent to the treatment either verbally or in writing depending on the procedure and associated risks. The dental practitioner who is to perform the treatment is responsible for the following informed consent process in line with the Dental Board of Australia’s Code of Conduct for Registered Health Practitioners.
A patient will be:
- Informed (or receive information in some other way) what procedure is being proposed
- Informed (or receive information in some other way) about the possible risks and benefits of the treatment in a form or manner they can understand
- Informed of the risks and benefits of all options
- Afforded the opportunity to ask questions and receive answers that meet with their satisfaction
- Afforded sufficient time (if needed) to discuss the plan with their family, carer or advisor, especially for complex treatment plans
- Fully informed of and comprehending the cost of treatment
- Able to use the information provided to help them make a decision they believe is in their best interest, in the absence of any coercion from the dental practitioner
- Afforded the opportunity to communicate their decision to the dental practitioner either verbally or in writing
Dental practitioners are required to provide relevant documentation to the patient about the proposed treatment. The practice also requires dental practitioners to use their clinical judgement to determine where written consent is required from the patient and/or carer.
Dental practitioners shall take into account additional considerations regarding guardianship arrangements for consent matters when dealing with vulnerable patients.
Sufficient detail is to be recorded in patient records to reflect the information provided to the patient associated with their treatment options and the treatment plan, which is ultimately agreed upon.
Informed consent documentation
All informed consent documentation used is reviewed at regular intervals and any updates to these documents are designed to improve patient understanding and the quality of care provided.
Under the privacy law, patients have rights of access to dental information held about them by this practice. We welcome a patient to inspect or request copies of their treatment records at any time, or seek an explanation from the dentist. All requests for access should be made in writing using Request for Release of Dental Records Form which can be obtained by contacting us.
- Requests for access will be acknowledged by the practice within 48 hours of the receipt of the request.
- Where it is not possible for access to be granted within 30 days, the patient will be notified/advised when and if access will be granted.
- A patient will not be permitted to remove any of the contents of their dental file from the practice, nor will they be permitted to alter or erase information contained in the dental record. However, if any of the information we have about a patient is inaccurate, a patient is encouraged to ask us to alter their records accordingly, in writing.
- Generally, records will be transferred by the practice (on behalf of consenting patients) from one treating practitioner to another. In limited circumstances patients will be required to collect their records in person or may request in writing that records are provided to another authorised person.
- If a patient, or authorised person, is collecting a copy of dental records, they may be required to provide identification. Where possible this should be photographic identification.
A patient’s evaluation of the care received at our practice is an extremely important form of feedback that provides valuable information about the services we provide. We encourage patients to provide both positive and negative feedback. All staff will be provided with training and support that will assist them to identify, report and appropriately respond to complaints and other constructive feedback as necessary.
Notifying patients about their rights
Medland Dental will always endeavour to advise patients about their rights and the way our practice operates. Part of the process of providing this information to patients and/or carers is providing access to our practice Charter of Patient Rights.
All staff will assist patients to understand their patient rights and the way our practice operates. It is the responsibility of staff to proactively identify those patients who may be ‘at risk’ of not understanding their healthcare rights and to consult the dental practitioner if further guidance is needed.