Many GDC cases against dentists and dental care professionals are indefensible as a result of poor administrative procedures. Examples of administrative risk include:
- illegible records
- inappropriate alterations made to records
- inadequate security of records
- incomplete information recorded
- treatment without obtaining valid consent
- breach of confidentiality
- failure to comply with the Data Protection Act 2018
- inadequate handling of complaints.
The major contributory factor to administrative risk is communication, whether it is written or verbal. Misunderstandings can arise between staff, clinicians and patients, other staff and patients. However, good documentation can frequently defuse any potentially difficult situation.
Examples of risk-reduction measures include:
- maintaining accurate and contemporaneous records (see Record-keeping)
- using computer systems (see Record-keeping)
- having written policies and procedures and ensuring staff read, understand and follow them
- reviewing policies and procedures regularly and updating when necessary
- recording, documenting and analysing incidents or events (see Significant Event Analysis and Incident Reporting)
- maintaining good verbal and written communication with staff and patients (see Communication)
- training staff in all aspects of practice activity, including legal and ethical practice (see Ethical Practice).