The Canadian Dental Podcast


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Show Notes


In this episode, Dr. Lesia Waschuk joins me to discuss the topic of regulatory compliance for Canadian dentists. Dr. Waschuk has 21 years of experience in regulation with the Royal College in Ontario, has been involved in health professional education in two universities and three colleges in Canada and is here to discuss her systems approach to compliance.

Topics discussed in today’s episode:

  1. [0:05:47] First of all, those rules are actually largely determined by dentists in our profession, and there are many regulated professions not just in the healthcare sector but also in other sectors where professionals operate.
  2. [0:08:54] So, I mentioned that the dentist is the boss, but certainly as a boss, you can delegate work to other people. And I think that the first thing that you can do as a solo practitioner is to empower your staff to take on responsibility for aspects of the compliance program.
  3. [0:11:47] The regulatory framework works the same way in the different provinces but the particulars of the requirements that are set out in the statutes and the regulations and then the local bylaws in some will be a little bit different. But the principles are all the same.
  4. [0:13:10] Every regulated professional has to comply with their regulatory authorities guidance and the regulations that have been made under the statute that governs those professions may or may not allow certain types of business relationships, may give them certain responsibilities with respect to retaining records with respect to the ownership of records and so on.
  5. [0:15:23] And everybody in the office needs to understand what their role is with respect to certain aspects of a compliance program and somebody needs to be responsible for updating those materials. Somebody needs to be responsible for training everybody who comes on board.
  6. [0:20:45] People are sometimes afraid to admit mistakes because they know that they depend on an organization, their particular employer for their job.
  7. [0:22:55] It's a lot of work and it's expensive because the employers, the dentists are paying the hours. And I think that that's where the pain comes in. And it isn't that they don't want to do the right thing, it's that ultimately they do feel that it comes down on them.
  8. [0:28:40] It's a discipline but it isn't impossible. And you're not the one who's developing that guidance.
  9. [0:30:11] I think that the dentists maybe at this time more concerned about the scheduling of patients, the flow of patients, the followup time that they may be required to limit how frequently they see patients for aerosol generating procedures and leaving their operatories to set followup until they can book another patient.
  10. [0:33:36] You have a whole team that can help you to create and to maintain the records that you need. So that's actually something you don't need to worry about. All you need to worry about is showing your team that you trust them and letting them do their job.
  11. [0:35:28] I hope that what comes out of this situation is ultimately that there will be a recognized need for a network of hospital-based dental services that in the future there'll be some funding for that or there'll be some community referral mechanism that is maintained not just for crisis and pandemic situations but also for certain groups of patients that are best or most safely treated in very specialized environments.
  12. [0:45:12] I don't think that it's a sustainable model if dentists are going to have to inject large amounts of capital into their offices to upgrade their offices if there aren't controls on the pricing, let's say, in the private sector for PPE and all that kind of stuff.
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