Tuesday, 23 April, 2024

31 Jul 2022 | Australasian Dental Practice

news > Briefs > Page 18

Do you have a complaints policy?

By Brad Wright

Most dental practices receive minor complaints all the time. Having an open, easy private complaints mechanism is quite simple and will mean that complaints to regulators will be less likely.


It could be that there is simple complaints policy available on the practice website. It could be a QR code on appointment cards. The pics should include where to complain, how to complain (phone, email or online, for example), who will deal with it, how long it will take, etc. A trusted person - probably not the dentist - should deal with it and have authority to consult with the person who is the subject of the complaint and suggest resolution.

This process which should preferably involve a conversation with the complainant by a designated person which is far preferable to the small business system where the person dealing with the complaint may not have had training, or be inconsistent with the practice general policy. Complainants often want to be heard and the sooner it happens, the quicker they will believe that they have been heard and the practice cares about them.

Often the complaints will be about fees or clinical outcomes, but a policy might mean you can resolve it locally early, so it does not fester for months before a lengthy process is commenced with a council, commission, board or ombudsman.

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