You Should Know by Kyle Patton, associate editor, Dentaltown magazine

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Dentaltown Magazine

What is your background in dental?
I've been involved in various aspects of the health care industry for more than 25 years, including both private clinics and hospital systems. This experience includes managing all aspects of the health care environment, ranging from corporate compliance management, reporting and auditing to coordinating revenue cycle management. I also have experience with preparing Joint Commission audits, as well as preparing to prevent and responding to audits from federal and state agencies.

Tell me about AAFDO and what it provides.
The service is accreditation from the Accreditation Association for Dental Offices. Accreditation through the AAFDO is an elective improvement process initiated by the practice to ensure it is the very best it can be—for both a dentist's peace of mind and the patients' well-being. Our experts have pulled together regulatory mandates, best-practice standards and patient safety measures into one comprehensive package of criteria for excellence. General dental practices would participate in the AAFDO accreditation process as a means of ensuring and documenting their achievement in patient safety, quality and use of best practices.

You are in an elevator. A man asks what your company does. You have 15 seconds before the door opens. What do you say?
The AAFDO is to dentistry what the Joint Commission is to hospitals and other health care facilities. The AAFDO is not a regulatory agency or a bureaucratic organization. Rather, it's pulling together all the things that dental offices are required to do—or should be doing—and then allowing the dental practice to show the public and themselves that they are doing it.

What's the company philosophy?
Ensuring dentists provide, and their patients receive, the safest, highest-quality, patient-centered care.

What would you consider to be the "best-kept secret" about the AAFDO?
The Virtual Survey. Our process is a written survey of 13 domains of excellence, followed by a virtual survey conducted through a web connection using a secure video feed. This allows the AAFDO to schedule and perform the survey in a timely fashion that is much less intrusive than an onsite audit.

How can a practice begin working with you?
Go to and complete the application online, and this will kick off the accreditation process. Further questions can be asked through the "Contact us" tab on our website or via email: or call us at 866-902-2336.

What kind of service can dentists expect when they pick up the phone and call you?
Dentists should know that the AAFDO will not be acting like a government auditor. We are in your corner, we believe in you, and we want you to succeed. We will do whatever it takes to provide great customer service to help every dentist achieve accreditation and become the best they can be.

Anything else you'd like to add or tell us about AAFDO?
We feel so strongly that accreditation to certify the meeting of these standards is beneficial to dental practices that we wonder, "What dental office wouldn't want to be accredited so they have peace of mind that they meet regulatory requirements, and so that they can show their patients they provide best-practice care?"

It is about time something like this was available for unique needs of dentistry. The AAFDO is that something. Behind every AAFDO seal of approval is a dental practice committed to patient safety, high quality and patient-centered care.


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