The Ultimate Guide to Preventing Dental Practice Audits
For many dental practice owners, preventing dental practice audits is the last thing one wants to have on their mind. Needless to say, audits can easily become a big hassle and a time-wasting pursuit. Getting audited is no fun. Though there is no immediate way to prevent getting audited, there are certain steps that you can put in place to lessen the chance of your dental practice being audited in the first place.
It’s safe to say that there is no better time than now for you to learn all the appropriate standards and regulations that apply to your practice. If you ensure the steps we’re going to enumerate are followed you can avoid undesirable penalties.
It is strongly recommended to prepare a clinical audit plan. It might help you prevent an unnecessary dental practice audit from occurring.
Before we cite some suggestions for preventing unwelcomed audit experiences, let us first understand the ABCs of auditing.
Preventing Dental Practice Audits | Tip #1 Plan a Clinical Audit
Below are the five known stages in performing a clinical audit:
Stage 1: Preparing the audit
- Selecting the audit topic based on prioritization of clinical needs
- Imparting skills and training to the staff
- Planning the delivery of audit research
Stage 2: Selecting Criteria
- Identification of standards and audit criteria
- Selecting appropriate performance
- Review the available evidence to identify the standards
Stage 3: Measuring Performance
- Collection of data
- Analyzation of data
- Presentation of results
Stage 4: Implementing Improvements
- Development of quality improvement plans
- Recognition of local complications or problems that need to change
Stage 5: Sustaining Improvements
- Performance indicators
- Evaluating audit quality
- Monitoring the quality improvement plan
- Close the loop by re-auditing
The range for clinical audit in the extensive field of dentistry is endless. In a dental practice, care of the patient is not limited just to their teeth problems but also extends to assist and empower the patients in their oral healthcare.
Preventing Dental Practice Audits |
Tip #2 Document Data Correctly
Operating in a dental office is never an easy job. Being audited can make it even more complicated than ever. Another measure to prevent audits is by avoiding coding and documentation errors.
It’s easy to learn dental billing if you have the right information. But, you still have to make sure that your billing is done accurately. All medical billing or coding needs to be documented properly. All your staff should also be well familiarized with the most recent coding manuals (ICD/CPT), and they need to be certain of the correct modifiers they are supposed to use.
We recommend that you find a reliable biller-coder who can read, interpret, and manage these tasks for you and so you can focus exclusively on patient care. Medical billing, records, coding, and maintaining patient confidentiality are essential components of any medically focused practice. Accuracy in these areas is essential to both your patients and your operations.
Preventing Dental Practice Audits |Tip #3 Learn the Rules and Regulations applicable to your practice
A recent survey shows that many dentists are not following basic standards and medical regulations. According to reports, some dentists follow nitrous oxide safety guidelines, some are not using proper amalgam, and others are not prepared for possible cyber-attacks compromising patients’ records and confidentiality.
Preventing Dental Practice Audits | Tip #4 Get Accredited
There is no better way to meet applicable regulatory guidelines and standards than submitting your practice to an accreditation program or process.
Accreditation programs evaluate the quality and operational systems, assuring patients and the public that they are pertinent to receive the safe and highest quality of care.
The best way to prevent dental practice audit is to be truthful and responsible. Being prepared, systematized, and resourceful, carrying out well-thought-out plans and accurate documentation, and maintaining organized records, you can reduce the possibility of going through an audit.
Moreover, when all of these are fully and effectively applied, it can benefit both patients and practitioners by guaranteeing the best use of resources and constantly evaluating and improving care quality.
If you’re looking to learn more about how to help your practice thrive, be sure and download our FREE 43-page Report on Increasing Case Sizes and Collections.