Postgraduate Studies

Post-graduate Diploma in Dental Practice Management

(PRS 702, Practice Management 702, 11220018 &   RLE 700, Ethics and jurisprudence 700)

The Post-Graduate Diploma in Dental Practice Management offered by the Department of Dental Management Sciences at the School of Dentistry, University of Pretoria.

Purpose / Main Outcomes of the Diploma

  1. To improve/develop the candidate’s practice management and leadership skills in order to optimise practice performance.
  2. To improve/develop the candidate’s skills in order to compile a business plan which would facilitate the establishment a viable practice
  3. To facilitate self-development of the candidate.

Course outline

The course mainly requires independent self-study learning activities with minimal direct facilitation by the study leader. One compulsory contact session or a Skype session is scheduled for September. During this session; assignments will be presented by the candidate(s) to a panel, accompanied by a group discussion.

Basic subject: Health Professions Ethics and Jurisprudence

Code: RLE 710          Ethics and jurisprudence 710

Candidates will have to identify, source and study the laws, regulations and guidelines that govern the health professions and dentistry in particular. The application of these laws, regulations and guidelines will be assessed during an open-book written assessment (during September of the first study year) and must be applied in the assignments of the main subject. The test date is in September as agreed with the candidate.

Main subject: Practice Management

Code: PRS 700          Practice Management 700   11220018

The main subject will be addressed by means of a short essay and three assignments by the candidate.

Each candidate must submit a short personal background essay (minimum of 500 words), which must clearly indicate the reasons for enrolling for the course. The essay will be assessed on the ability of the student to reflect, the challenges that needs to be addressed and how the course may have an impact on their personal development.  (Due date: end of March).

Candidates have to complete a total of three assignments (See Appendix 1) of which one assignment is a Research Protocol. Assignments must be based on sound scientific principles, which must be supported by valid literature references. It is suggested that current practice owners/managers select their topics in order to assist them in improving business practices in their practices (It is recommended that a SWOT analysis being conducted of their own business management practices with the aim on improvement). Prospective new practice owners are advised to select topics that would assist in the establishment of a new practice.

Candidates have to submit a research protocol on a topic of their choice. This protocol has to be at a stage where it can be submitted for Ethics approval. The protocol writing will expose the candidate to how to write a research protocol for a Master’s degree or for pure article publication.  

Please note: Internet access is a requirement and correspondence will only be via e-mail.

Enquiries:

  • Tel (office hours): 012-319 2935 or 082 4270 792
  • Fax: 012 319 2146
  • E-mail: [email protected]
  • Office: Room 2-128, School of dentistry, UP           

General Information:

Registration closing date for the course is end of January. For further enquiries regarding administration, please contact Ms Annette Welman, student administration, at [email protected] or 012 356 3062.

  • Course fees: available on website
  • Sixty (60) CPD points will be awarded for the course.

STUDY COMPONENT

Outcome 1: Ethics and Jurisprudence

  • Identify important rules, guidelines and laws that guides the dental profession
  • Analyse important rules, guidelines and laws that guides the dental profession and interpret their application in practice
  • Write practice management policies, based on rules, guidelines and laws that guide the dental profession.

Outcome 2: Leadership

  • Philosophise about the critical importance of leadership to ensure success in a practice.
  • Describe the difference(s) between leadership and management
  • Identify different leadership styles that applies to heads of clinic /practice owners
  • Analyse the leadership style(s) of key personnel in a practice
  • Identify leadership principles that can be employed to improve the performance of a practice
  • Identify and analyse leadership principles employed in a practice
  • Propose self-development activities to improve your own leadership ability.
  • Analyse your own leadership style in a critical manner

Outcome 3: Strategic management

  • Develop a vision and mission statement for a practice
  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of a practice in a critical manner
  • Identify opportunities and threats posed by the external environment to the viability of a practice
  • Formulate a strategic plan for a practice in order to improve practice performance

Outcome 4: External and internal marketing

  • Identify ways and means to market a practice in an ethical / legal way
  • Identify and analyse factors that contribute towards customer satisfaction/ dissatisfaction in a practice
  • Suggest initiatives to improve customer satisfaction in a practice

Outcome 5: Financial management

  • Identify and analyse the key financial management principles that will help improve a practice’s viability
  • Name and explain the financial management processes applied in a practice
  • Suggest financial management initiatives to improve the viability of a practice taking into account the regulatory framework

Outcome 6: Logistical and technology management

  • Identify and analyse inventory management systems that will help attain viability/profitability
  • Analyse the stock managing systems of a practice
  • Propose a stock managing strategy to optimise viability/profitability
  • Identify the life expectancy of main dental equipment pieces for a practice
  • Analyse the equipment maintenance systems of a practice
  • Propose a service and replacement plan for main dental equipment to ensure cost-effectiveness
  • Identify technologies that may enhance patient’s perception about the image of a practice

Outcome 7: Personnel management

  • Identify and analyse factors that contribute towards employee satisfaction / dissatisfaction in a practice
  • Analyse employee satisfaction in a practice
  • Propose initiatives to improve employee satisfaction in a practice
  • Analyse employment contracts to determine their legitimacy
  • Draw up a draft employment contract taking into account the regulatory framework
  • Develop a personnel recruitment strategy to improve the quality of the human resources employed

Outcome 8: Occupational health and safety

  • Identify and analyse factors that pose potential occupational health and safety risks in a practice
  • Analyse how occupational health and safety is managed in a practice
  • Propose initiatives to ensure optimal occupational health and safety in a practice
  • Formulate an occupational health and safety policy, considering the regulatory framework, for a practice

Outcome 9: Patient and administrative management

  • Identify and analyse patient and administrative management principles that may pose potential litigation risks to a practice or health risks to the patient
  • Identify “good” practice in terms of patient and administrative management in terms of the regulatory framework.
  • Analyse the patient and administrative management in a practice
  • Propose initiatives to optimise patient management in a practice to ensure the patient’s optimal health and reduce litigation risks for the practice

Outcome 10: Risk management

  • Identify risk management products that can be employed to reduce the risk in a practice
  • Identify potential litigation risks to a practice considering the regulatory framework.
  • Analyse the risk management strategies employed in a practice
  • Propose strategies to improve the risk management of practice

 

Appendix 1: Assessments

The Post-Graduate Diploma in Dental Practice Management comprises an open book examination on Ethics & Jurisprudence as well as three practice management assignments. Kindly note that Internet access is a requirement and correspondence will only be via e-mail.

  1. Open Book Examination: Ethics and Jurisprudence
  • Identify important rules, guidelines and laws that guides the dental profession
  • Analyse important rules, guidelines and laws that guides the dental profession and interpret their application in practice
  • Write practice management policies, based on rules, guidelines and laws that guide the dental profession.
  1. Assignments

2.1 Instructions

  • All assignments must be typed (Font: Arial 12; line spacing: 1.5; Text alignment: justified).
  • The length of each assignment should not be less than ten (10) and not more than twenty (20) A4 pages.
  • Poor grammar, spelling and editing will affect marks negatively.
  • Proper referencing (Harvard/Vancouver).
  • Plagiarism will be penalised.
  • Late submissions of assignments will be penalised by deduction of 10% for each week that its submitted late after the deadline (starting on the first day)
  • Results for each assignment will be made available as soon as possible after the submission date.
  • Additional reading material is available in the library in the Basic Medical Sciences (BMS/BMW) Building, situated on the Prinshof campus, opposite the School of Dentistry.
  1. Required Structure of Assignments

Kindly ensure that the assignment is structured as follows:

  1. Introduction:
    1. Problem Statement
    2. Rationale/Purpose of the assignment/research
  2. Literature review
  3. Discussion & Recommendations  (Intervention Strategy)
  4. Conclusion
  5. References

A list of outcomes is also included with each of the four assignment topics. You are kindly requested to take these outcomes into consideration during preparation of your assignment.

 

Please refer to Table 2 on Page 4 for assessment criteria applicable to the assessment of the assignments.

 

2.3 Plagiarism Policy

Kindly take note that the University of Pretoria has a very specific policy regarding plagiarism (see attached policy document). Copying and pasting from any source is strictly forbidden and the quoted literature must be referenced appropriately.

 

2.4 Due dates (last Friday of the month)

  • Background Essay: March
  • Assignment 1: April
  • Assignment 2: June
  •  Protocol Submission: August
  • Test & Assignments presentation: mid-September (date as agreed with student)

 

Each candidate must submit a short personal background essay (minimum of 500 words), which must clearly indicate the reasons for enrolling for the course. The essay will be assessed on the ability of the student to reflect, the challenges that needs to be addressed and how the course may have an impact on their personal development.  (Due date: end of March).

 

The candidate must select Assignment 1 and can then select another one from the remaining three assignments below:

Assignment 1:  Strategic management & Leadership: The external environment has an influence on a practice. Define the external environment and evaluate the role of strategic management and leadership in ensuring a viable practice.

 

You are kindly requested to take the following outcomes into consideration during preparation of your assignment:

Leadership

  • Philosophise about the critical importance of leadership to ensure success in a practice.
  • Describe the difference(s) between leadership and management
  • Identify different leadership styles that applies to heads of clinic /practice owners
  • Analyse the leadership style(s) of key personnel in a practice
  • Identify leadership principles that can be employed to improve the performance of a practice
  • Identify and analyse leadership principles employed in a practice
  • Propose self-development activities to improve your own leadership ability.
  • Analyse your own leadership style in a critical manner

 

Strategic management

  • Develop a vision and mission statement for a practice
  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of a practice in a critical manner
  • Identify opportunities and threats posed by the external environment to the viability of a practice
  • Formulate a strategic plan for a practice in order to improve practice performance

 

Assignment 2:  Personnel Management: Evaluate how personnel will affect the retention and attraction of patients in a practice.  

 

You are kindly requested to take the following outcomes into consideration during preparation of your assignment:

 

Personnel management

  • Identify and analyse factors that contribute towards employee satisfaction / dissatisfaction in a practice
  • Analyse employee satisfaction in a practice
  • Propose initiatives to improve employee satisfaction in a practice
  • Analyse employment contracts to determine their legitimacy
  • Draw up a draft employment contract taking into account the regulatory framework
  • Develop a personnel recruitment strategy to improve the quality of the human resources employed

 

External and internal marketing

  • Identify ways and means to market a practice in an ethical / legal way
  • Identify and analyse factors that contribute towards customer satisfaction/ dissatisfaction in a practice
  • Suggest initiatives to improve customer satisfaction in a practice

 

Assignment 3:  Financial Management: Evaluate the factors that have an impact on the financial management of a practice.

You are kindly requested to take the following outcomes into consideration during preparation of your assignment:

 

Financial management

  • Identify and analyse the key financial management principles that will help improve a practice’s viability
  • Name and explain the financial management processes applied in a practice
  • Suggest financial management initiatives to improve the viability of a practice taking into account the regulatory framework

 

Logistical and technology management

  • Identify and analyse inventory management systems that will help attain viability/profitability
  • Analyse the stock managing systems of a practice
  • Propose a stock managing strategy to optimise viability/profitability
  • Identify the life expectancy of main dental equipment pieces for a practice
  • Analyse the equipment maintenance systems of a practice
  • Propose a service and replacement plan for main dental equipment to ensure cost-effectiveness
  • Identify technologies that may enhance patient’s perception about the image of a practice

 

Assignment 4:  Litigation: Oral health practitioners are increasingly at risk to be faced with litigation. Evaluate potential risk areas in a practice that could potentially expose the Oral health practitioner to litigation.

 

You are kindly requested to take the following outcomes into consideration during preparation of your assignment.

 

Occupational health and safety

  • Identify and analyse factors that pose potential occupational health and safety risks in a practice
  • Analyse how occupational health and safety is managed in a practice
  • Propose initiatives to ensure optimal occupational health and safety in a practice
  • Formulate an occupational health and safety policy, considering the regulatory framework, for a practice

 

Patient and administrative management

  • Identify and analyse patient and administrative management principles that may pose potential litigation risks to a practice or health risks to the patient
  • Identify “good” practice in terms of patient and administrative management in terms of the regulatory framework.
  • Analyse the patient and administrative management in a practice
  • Propose initiatives to optimise patient management in a practice to ensure the patient’s optimal health and reduce litigation risks for the practice

 

Risk management

  • Identify risk management products that can be employed to reduce the risk in a practice
  • Identify potential litigation risks to a practice considering the regulatory framework.
  • Analyse the risk management strategies employed in a practice
  • Propose strategies to improve the risk management of a practice

 

Assessment

Table 1 Assessment composition

Subject Code

Activity

Weighting

PRS702  (Main)

Background Essay

10%

Assignment 1

20%

Assignment 2

20%

Assignment 3: Research Protocol

30%

Assignment Presentation

20%

 

100%

 

 

 

RLE700 (Basic)

Open book examination on Ethics & Jurisprudence

100%

 

Total

 

 

Assessment Rubric

 

Table 2 Assessment criteria

Criteria

Yes

No

The content of the assignment is scientifically sound

(50% weight)  i.e. the corner stones and main elements of practice management are adequately analysed, and backed-up by scientific references

 

 

The assignment is well structured

  • The problem/s encountered in the practice/clinic is well defined
  • The corner stones and main elements of practice management are correctly identified

 

 

Self-study is evident with a sense of deeper learning

  • Ethical and legal guidance are always taken into consideration
  • Solutions that were logically derived were proposed
  • The main cause of the problem was correctly identified

 

 

Various literature sources were consulted

 

 

The referencing are done according to a valid method

 

 

Language use is of good quality

 

 

Plagiarism is not committed

NB. A mark of 0% will be awarded if plagiarism can be proved

 

 

Main assessment criterion: Measures proposed for improvement has the potential to add value to the performance of the practice/clinic

 

 

 

In the case of all the assignments:

  • A rating of “Yes” must be obtained for the “Main assessment criterion” to pass the assignment (50%). The candidate fails if a rating of “No” is obtained for the “Main assessment criterion”.
  • A final score of 65% will be awarded for assignments with not more than two “No” ratings.
  • A distinction (80%) will be awarded if a rating of “Yes” is obtained for all seven criteria.

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Master of Science Practice Management [MScDent (Practice Management)]

Overview

The course Master of Science in Dental Practice Management [MScDent(Practice Management)] is designed to build graduates‘ knowledge and skills (other than clinical skills) and equip them with the necessary competencies in dental practice management in order to prepare them to improve the business management of an existing oral health practice (private/public) or to successfully establish a new oral health practice. The programme also enhances their existing knowledge of Ethics and Jurisprudence, Leadership, Strategic Management, Marketing, Financial Management, Information Systems, Personnel Management, Occupational Health and Safety, Patient Management, Administrative Management and Risk Management applicable to the oral health practice environment. Finally, it creates an opportunity for dentists to become effective leaders and managers, in a demanding South African oral health environment given the proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) to address the oral health needs of the South African population.

The course additionally allows graduates to become researchers and experts in the field of dental practice management.

Purpose of the qualification

The primary purpose of the MScDent (Practice Management) qualification is to develop oral health care practitioners’ (OHCP) necessary skills, attitudes and knowledge in order to increase their material and spiritual rewards from dentistry by enabling them to:

  • Practice their dreams true to the highest standards and vision they have defined for themselves and experience a deeper satisfaction from their careers;
  • Work as an effective team member in multidisciplinary teams and be able to reduce stress in the working environment;
  • Ensure a viable practice and experience financial freedom;
  • Play a leadership role in the development and management of the oral health services. 

The MScDent (Practice Management) will contribute to the critical and creative thinking of the graduate. The MScDent(Practice Management) student:

  • Can work effectively with others in a team through gathering workplace information for the research;
  • Will collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate the information gathered at the workplace;
  • Can communicate effectively through gathering information doing interviews at the workplace as well as through presentation of their dissertation to a panel;
  • Is able to demonstrate his/her ability to conduct research based on sound scientific principles supported by valid literature references.  

Admission to the course

  • Subject to the stipulations of General Regulations G.9, G.30 and G.44, the BChD degree or an equivalent qualification is required and proof of current registration with the HPCSA as a dentist in the category independent practice.
  • Students who have completed  the Postgraduate Diploma in Dentistry: Practice Management [PGDipDent(PracMan)], less than five years prior to enrolment for the Master of Science in Dental Practice Management [MScDent (Practice Management)] will receive credit, will be exempted from the academic programme and will automatically be admitted to the Master of Science in Dental Practice Management [MScDent (Practice Management)].
  • Students who do not hold a Postgraduate Diploma in Dentistry: Practice Management [PGDipDent(PracMan)], will have to attend the academic programme (see below). After successful completion of the first two semesters including the prescribed assignments and the examination in Ethics and Jurisprudence, the student will receive the qualification Postgraduate Diploma in Dentistry: Practice Management [PGDipDent(PracMan)] and will then be admitted to the Master of Science in Dental Practice Management [MScDent (Practice Management)].

Level, credits and learning components assigned to the qualification

The Master of Science in Dental Practice Management [MScDent (Practice Management)] programme is estimated at SAQA level 9 and 150 credits are allocated to the programme. The programme is presented in English. The field of the qualification is nine credits and the sub-field that of health.

a.       Academic Programme:  Assignments/seminars/discussions in the following fields through self-reading, panel discussions and seminars: Ethics and Jurisprudence, Leadership in the Dental Practice, Strategic Management, Marketing, Financial Management, Information Systems, Personnel Management, Occupational Health and Safety, Patient Management, Administrative Management and Risk Management applicable to the dental practice environment.

(ii) Duration

At least four semesters of part-time study.

(iii) Curriculum

(aa) Attendance course TNM 800 Applied research methodology 800 (Five credits)

(bb) An examination (ODO 800) (as part of the Postgraduate Diploma in Dentistry:

Practice Management [PGDipDent(PracMan)] and dissertation (ODO 890)

  • An examination on an approved programme of advanced study and tuition in the field of Dental Practice Management.
  • A dissertation related to the field of Dental Practice Management. Assessment will be in the form of a public defence of the dissertation by the candidate as well as formal assessment by a panel of prescribed external and internal examiners (100 credits). The candidate must be able to demonstrate his/her ability to conduct research at a Masters’ level. A statistical analysis with sound methodology will have to be applied.
  • In the final evaluation, the dissertation and the examination mentioned in (bb) will carry equal weight. A minimum pass mark of 50% is required for the dissertation, with a minimum of 50% as pass mark in the examination. 

Course Structure

Master of Science Practice Management [MScDent(Practice Management)] programme consists of two components: An academic programme and a research project for a dissertation.

Academic programme

The course mainly requires independent self-study learning activities with minimal direct facilitation by the study leader. One compulsory contact session is scheduled for September in Pretoria. During this contact session, assignments will be presented by the candidate(s) to a panel accompanied by a group discussion.

Basic subject:  Health Professions Ethics and Jurisprudence

Candidates will have to identify, source and study the laws, regulations and guidelines that govern the health professions and dentistry in particular. The application of these laws, regulations and guidelines will be assessed during an open-book written assessment (during September of the first study year) and must be applied in the assignments of the main subject. The test date is in September, during the contact session.

Main subject:  Dental Practice Management

The main subject will be addressed by means of a short essay and three assignments by the candidate.

Each candidate must submit a short personal background essay (minimum of 500 words), which must clearly indicate the reasons for enrolling for the course. The essay will be assessed on the ability of the student to reflect, the challenges that needs to be addressed and how the course may have an impact on their personal development.  (Due date: end of March).

Candidates have to complete an assignment on “Leadership” (Outcome 2) and have to select an additional five of the remaining nine outcomes (see attached “Study Component” document). A total of three assignments, comprising two outcomes each, must be completed and submitted. Assignments must be based on sound scientific principles, which must be supported by valid literature references. It is suggested that current practice owners/managers select their topics in order to assist them in improving business practices in their practices (It is recommended that a SWOT analysis be conducted of their own business management practices with the aim of improvement). Prospective entrepreneurs are advised to select topics that would assist in the establishment of a new practice.

Assignment Instructions:

  • The length of each assignment should not be less than ten (10) and not more than twenty (20) A4 pages.
  • Typed
  • Font: Arial 12; line spacing: 1.5; Text alignment: justified.
  • Poor grammar, spelling and editing will affect marks negatively
  • Proper referencing
  • Plagiarism will be penalised
  • No late submissions of assignments will be allowed
  • Results for each assignment will be made available as soon as possible after the submission date.
  • Additional reading material is available in the library in the Basic Medical Sciences (BMS/BMW) Building, situated on the Prinshof campus, opposite the School of Dentistry.

Plagiarism Policy

Kindly take note that the University of Pretoria has a very specific policy regarding plagiarism (see attached policy document). Copying and pasting from any source is strictly forbidden and the quoted literature must be referenced appropriately.

Due dates:

  • Assignment 1: April 
  • Assignment 2: June 
  • Assignment 3: August 
  • Test & Assignments presentation: September

The programme will aim to address the following fields through self-reading, panel discussions and CPD accredited seminars:

1.       Ethics and Jurisprudence (E&J)

To acquire the scientific knowledge on Ethics and Jurisprudence (E&J), e.g. important rules, guidelines and laws that guide the dental profession and to recognise, analyse and evaluate responsibility towards patients, colleagues and the community in order to make morally and ethically responsible decisions in the dental practice environment.

2.       Leadership, Marketing and Strategic Management

To become competent in defining a purpose, provide a sense of direction and determine the resources needed to provide for a successful practice with a long-term future.

3.       Financial Management

To be able to recommend financial management initiatives to ensure the success of the practice

4.       Logistical and Technology Management

To acquire the necessary Logistical and Technology Management skills to be able to manage an inventory system, maintain equipment and be able to collect, organise and store data required for the conduct of the practice and the production of information in the form of reports or in response to enquiries.

5.       Personnel Management

To acquire the necessary Personnel Management knowledge and skills to be competent in managing the personnel of the practice as a valuable asset and to ensure employee satisfaction, retention and performance that can give a practice a competitive advantage.

6.       Occupational Health and Safety

To strengthen the existing Occupational Health and Safety knowledge to ensure optimal occupational health and safety in a dental practice environment.

7.       Patient and Administrative Management

To acquire Patient and Administrative Management skills and knowledge to administer activities in ensuring an organised practice and to be competent to ensure complete customer satisfaction in order to develop a long-term loyalty among patients.

8.       Risk Management

To acquire the necessary Risk Management knowledge to be competent in applying the laws of jurisdiction in which he/she practices.

 

Research project

A research topic must be discussed and approved by the supervisor and the research protocol approved by the Research and Ethics Committees.

The graduate will be requested to deliver four (one per semester) seminars based on management and Ethics and Jurisprudence topics that are directly related to the research project. The study leader will identify the topics for the seminars.  The graduate will also do an appropriate presentation at the final year Practice Management seminar and lecture on his/her research topic to fourth years, present a poster at the faculty research day and at a possible local conference.

Assessments

Attendance course (compulsory): Applied Research Methodology (TNM 800) 

TNM 800 Applied research methodology 800: this is an attendance course and will be assessed accordingly

 

Academic programme

Assignments/Seminars/Discussions will be moderated by a panel of examiners who are experienced in the respective fields of Ethics and Jurisprudence and Dental Practice Management. The following rubric will be used:

Assessment Rubric

Criteria

Rating

High  quality answer: considered the core principles in the decision-making and made correct decisions substantiated by trends in the local environment

75% and up

Quality answer: same as above  but left out one or two substantiating points

65% -74%

Made correct decision without much substantiation

50 – 64%

Failed to make a decision

<50%

Did not answer the question

0%

Dissertation

The dissertation assessment is conducted in accordance with the assessment policy of the UP. The assessment is conducted by an experienced panel consisting of:

  • One or more lecturers from the Department of Dental Management Sciences, UP.
  • One or more external lecturers (from another University)

International comparability

The Exit Level Outcomes (ELO) of this qualification can be compared with international standards. An example of a comparable qualification is the following: Masters of Health Services Administration (M.H.S.A.) at the University of Michigan

http://www.sph.umich.edu/hmp/programs/masters/mhsa.html

 

Published by Renata van Aswegen

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