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Audit to assess the quality of communication between operators and technicians in a fixed prosthodontic laboratory: educational and training implications




This audit aimed to assess the quality of communication between dental students/qualified dentists and dental technicians, increase the percentage of satisfactorily completed laboratory prescriptions and reduce the number of errors that can result from poor communication. A subsidiary aim was to educate students and staff in this respect.


An audit of laboratory prescription completion was conducted within Dundee Dental Hospital. Four hundred and eighteen prescriptions for indirect fixed restorations completed by dental undergraduates and qualified staff were audited over a three month period (first audit cycle). Educational reminders on laboratory prescriptions were then provided to undergraduates and qualified staff, a further three hundred and twenty-two prescriptions were audited (second audit cycle) and compared with the first cycle.


Satisfactorily completed prescriptions increased from 28% to 43% following basic educational intervention. However, this percentage still signifies a poor level of completion and the need for improvement. Some aspects of the prescription were completed better than others, but overall the standard remained poor with a significant number failing to comply with guidelines set by the UK General Dental Council, the European Union's Medical Devices Directive and the British Society for Restorative Dentistry (BSRD).


Further undergraduate and staff training on laboratory prescription writing will be necessary through staff training events and developments in the undergraduate curriculum.

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