Last year the DentaQuest Institute’s Safety Net Solutions Program hosted a Safety Net University (SNU) Spring Summit in Washington, D.C. This summit brought together a variety of stakeholders to discuss the educational needs of dental students, dental directors, health center administrators, and other important audiences related to successfully running efficient and effective safety net dental programs.
Harvesting the outcomes of that meeting, Safety Net Solutions, in partnership with the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine, moved forward with the development and launch of a new Safety Net University platform that includes a safety net dental practice management course specifically for dental school students. This three credit course launched at MUSC this Winter and includes modules on topics such as Understanding Finance in Dentistry, Safety Net 101: Patients, Providers & Policies, Clinical Care Governance, Risk Management and Health Information Technology.
According to the course syllabus, this is the first of two courses designed to advance students' knowledge and application of business practices and leadership principles for delivering dental care to safety net populations. Students will demonstrate understanding of safety net dental practice models; their national availability and distribution, policies governing practice, sustainable business models, and partnerships that support successful practice models. Students will also demonstrate practice management excellence in settings that include community health centers, private practices, corporate practices, public/community clinics and charitable care organizations.
Excitement related to the development of the SNU curriculum and its utilization is growing daily both at SNS and among all of our external partners. Currently, strategic planning is underway to involve more national partner organizations and national oral health champions in both development and dissemination. Exciting times ahead for all involved!