Within Australia, the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights (ACHR) applies to the entire healthcare system, and it allows patients, consumers, families, carers and healthcare providers to have a common understanding of the rights of people receiving healthcare. The rights included in the ACHR relate to access, safety, respect, communication, participation, privacy and comment.
Toowong Orthodontics has developed the following practice specific charter of patient rights that is consistent with the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights.
Toowong Orthodontics 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 you in providing us with this information we contact patients by:
The cancellation policy of Toowong Orthodontics’ 24 hours’ notice for cancellation of an appointment. Should the patient cancel without the required notice period, it is at the Practice Manager’s discretion as to whether a cancellation 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.
Placing patients on a cancellation list, discuss emergency appointments are throughout the day, any appointment longer than 30 minutes or longer between 9am to 3pm. Patients who are medically compromised are seen at the appropriate time of day.
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 Toowong Orthodontics has 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:
Sufficient detail is to be recorded in patient records to reflect the information provided to the patient about the incident, associated risks and likely consequences. The dental practitioner will notify the occurrence of the adverse event to their professional indemnity insurer, consistent with the clauses of their policy.
Toowong Orthodontics 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.
Toowong Orthodontics 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.
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:
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.
Toowong Orthodontics provides each Responsible Party/Patient with the following:
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.
In accordance with the privacy law, Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988, the Dental Board of Australia’s Code of Conduct for Registered Health Practitioners, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner- Australian Privacy Principles and a patient can expect their personal health and other information will be collected, used, disclosed and stored in accordance with relevant laws about privacy, and this information will remain confidential unless the law allows disclosure or the patient directs us to release the information.
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 negative feedback. At Toowong Orthodontics we classify negative feedback into three categories:
In the event of a patient complaint, all staff at Toowong Orthodontics should use the following complaint handling policy:
Complaints will be acknowledged and responded to in a timely manner, either verbally or in writing, in respect to the seriousness of the complaint. We aim to respond to all complaints within 10 days. All complaints will be recorded in the Compliments & Complaints Register.
All complaints will be reported and reviewed by the Owner of the practice. Responsibility for the management of practitioner related complaints will lie with the dental practitioner about whom the complaint is related. The dental practitioner involved will respond to the complaint upon receipt of advice from their professional association and/or their insurer.
Toowong Orthodontics is committed to continuous improvement in safety and quality. The Owner will analyse data/feedback from the Compliments & Complaints Register and take action where required. Any review actions/outcomes will be communicated to staff.
Toowong Orthodontics 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.
Our Charter of Healthcare Rights is made available to patients in the following ways: