The Guidelines on dental records were never the most helpful, and after publication and a promise  to review in three years, it has taken over nine years for them to be revised…. by removing them.

Date of issue: 1 July 2010 

Date of review: This guideline will be reviewed at least every three years 

Dental Board Guidelines on dental records July 2010

I suppose that it’s a case of the third three year period lucky.

Information can be found  here

Four submissions were made, the ADA and DHSS  proposed not retaining the guidelines. It seems they prevailed.

So what does it mean ?

Well there is less particularity around what is required, and a self reflective tool which is… a bit vague.

I don’t think the effect of changes that have been made as of Thursday 1st of October will be known for some time as Dental Boards, Councils, Health Ombudsmen (?) Commissions and Tribunals deal with the changes.

The Board expects you to: 

Practise in accordance with the Board’s regulatory standards, codes and guidelines by adhering to the obligations set out in the Code of conduct including about confidentiality, privacy and informed consent

completing ongoing continuing professional development (CPD) that contributes to the development, maintenance and enhancement of knowledge, skills and performance. CPD courses on record keeping are readily available for dental practitioners and can cover topics such as privacy and consent, legislative requirements, access and retention, and ensuring you have appropriate professional indemnity insurance (PII) arrangements in place for all aspects of your practice. PII providers can provide guidance on maintaining adequate health records. 

Be aware and comply with state and territory legislative requirements including (but not limited to) authorities that regulate heath records or any other relevant legislation and/or regulatory requirements, and privacy legislation and/or any other relevant privacy requirements related to health-record management.

Understand the principles of maintaining health records by being aware of:

what constitutes a health record your obligations and responsibilities when making a health record, and what information should be recorded in a patient or client’s health record.

In other words common sense.

If you are struggling, there are some resources here.