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CDHO’s Quality Assurance Program

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    In the practice of health care delivery it is always the quality of the service; the safety, as well as the satisfaction of the clients needs are the top priorities.  It is important that the practitioners in this field abide by rules set by the governing body and always refer to the guidelines written to ensure that their knowledge and competence in this kind of service are acceptable based on the standards of the practice. These guidelines exist primarily for registered practitioners of the field to see to it that the quality of the services they offer to clients are maintained. It also serves as a reference with regards to the goal of improving the way they practice health care services.

                   The College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario or CDHO, with their mission of giving assurance to the people of Ontario in terms of dental health and safety, has written guidelines and developed programs regarding the ethics and quality in the field of dental hygiene. In accordance to the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA) which states that colleges should ensure the maintenance of optimal quality services for the people, designed a Quality Assurance Program.   This program which is for the professionals in the field of dental care, serves as a guide and standard in measuring the level of competence of the practitioners.

                As part of the the CDHO Dental Hygiene Standards of Practice, Code of Ethics, Records Regulation & Standard for Self-Initiation, the CDHO  has also written a Guideline for Best Practice in Initiating Dental Hygiene Care.  The guideline for registrant discusses the ADPIE (assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, evaluation) process in practicing dental care services.  It is emphasized in the process guideline that the Dental Hygiene Process of Care should be the basis of all dental care therapy.

                In comparison to the QA program, the ADPIE process of care tackles the specific practices that should be correctly implemented by registrants in therapy itself. It discusses the rules and principles in dealing with situations with the clients. It is sort of a step-by-step procedure on what to do in different phases of the therapy.

                The assessment and diagnosis procedures discussed in the guideline presents different cases that registrants could possibly encounter when practicing followed by the appropriate measures or actions to be done in this situations. It shows principles in evaluating the client before conducting therapy, which include the thorough study of the client’s medical history and background.   On the other hand, the assessment designed in the CHDO QA program gives focus on the maintenance and quality of the services given by the practitioners. It involves self assessment, peer assessment and group-based assessment. It entails the registrants’ requirement to complete their professional portfolios, ten percent of which will be reviewed by the QA panel as part of peer assessment process. CHDO also assess nature and quality of the practice through collecting and analyzing information collected periodically.

                Other procedures involved in the CHDO best practice guideline include developing individual treatment plan for clients, implementing and ensuring the dental hygiene treatment is in accordance with the plan formulated with the clients, and evaluating oral health progress of clients as well as re-assessment and review of the treatment plan. Similarly the QA program, in addition to assessment of performance, also involves other components such as Measures to address behavior or remarks of a sexual nature, which deals with allegations of sexual abuse without touching.   Moreover, the other components of the QA program are related to the ADPIE process of care but clearly do not deal with the treatment process itself, rather it tackles more on the performance quality of practitioners. The criteria in determining quality of dental hygiene treatment procedures are contained in the CDHO Dental Hygiene Standards of Practice; in compliance with the standards the QA program also requires dental hygienists with deficiency in knowledge, skills, attitude and judgment to be involved in practice enhancement/remediation activities.


    College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario Quality Assurance Program.  (2006). Journal. Retrieved from


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    CDHO’s Quality Assurance Program. (2016, Sep 09). Retrieved from

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