Analysis of the attitudes and needs/demands of dental practitioners in the field of patient safety and risk management

YAMALIK N., Van Dijk W.

INTERNATIONAL DENTAL JOURNAL, vol.63, no.6, pp.291-297, 2013 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 63 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/idj.12081
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.291-297


Patient safety is a relatively new discipline aimed at improving the quality of care, minimising treatment errors and improving the safety of patients. Although health professions always have a specific concern for patient safety, few practitioners have a clear understanding of the broad context and not all health-care providers practice it. This might well be because of limited availability of information and materials as well as a lack of national or international laws and regulations. Thus, through member National Dental Associations (NDAs) of FDI (World Dental Federation), the present study aimed at analysing the attitudes of dental practitioners to the issues of patient safety and risk management, and the availability of materials and laws and regulations. Determination of their specific needs and demands in these fields was also attempted. For this purpose, an online questionnaire was developed for the member NDAs to respond. Questions mainly focused on the awareness regarding patient safety, availability of materials and regulations and the particular topics for which dentists needed further knowledge and information. A total of 40 responses were received. While some countries lack any documents, patient safety documents and materials were available in some countries but they were mostly limited to infection control and radiation protection and did not address other important aspects of patient safety. The NDAs clearly demanded more information. A significant number of countries also lacked national laws and/or regulations regarding patient safety. Although dentistry always has a genuine concern for patient safety, the findings of the survey suggest that yet more efforts are needed to improve the knowledge, understanding and awareness of dental practitioners regarding its broad context and the relatively new' patient safety culture. NDAs, dental educators, national, regional and international dental organisations and health authorities all can play significant roles to achieve these goals.