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Report Writing

A RECOMMENDATION
A recommendation must be written when a standard is not met.

The narrative

  • The narrative is the rationale for the recommendation and must be included when writing the recommendation. When writing a rationale and recommendation, consider and answer the following questions:
  • What precisely is the issue?
  • What does the program currently provide?
  • How is it provided?
  • How well does it work? To what extent are residents getting the required training and experience?
  • What exactly are they not getting?
  • Why is it important that the resident get the required training experience (besides meeting the standard)? How will it help him/her in future practice?

The recommendation

  • Includes a restatement of the standard as stated in the SVER. Begin with the "stem" "It is recommended…..". Remember to include only those aspects of the standard that are not being met.
  • Cannot be prescriptive. Tell the institution what needs to be done in order to meet the standard, but not how to do it.
  • Other tips:
    • It is important to provide as much detail as possible; but it must be relevant and limited to the specific issue at hand.
    • Treat each circled NO as a separate issue and provide rationale for each.
    • It is important to separate one issue from another. If combining two closely related recommendations seems to make sense, staff will fold one recommendation into another, but we need your help – we must have something to work with.
    • Cite multiple sources – self-study, on-site documentation, observation, on-site interviews (do not cite specific interviews, i.e. resident interviews, faculty interviews).

For Example:
Standard addressed is GPR/AEGD Standard 3-7
3-7 Adequate support staff, including allied dental personnel and clerical staff, must be consistently available to allow for student/resident training and experience in the use of modern concepts of oral health care delivery and to ensure efficient administration of the program.

The narrative describing the rationale:
Following review of the self-study and interviews on-site, the visiting committee determined that adequate allied dental personnel are not consistently available tothe residents. Currently, the program is unable to provide continuous dental assisting and dental hygiene support for the residents; chairside assistance is provided approximately 25% of the time. Consequently, this situation does not allow for resident training and experience in the use of modern concepts of oral health care delivery.

Add the stem and include only portions of the standard not met (if applicable):
It is recommended that adequate support staff, including allied dental personnel, be consistently available to allow for student/resident training and experience in the use of modern concepts of oral health care delivery.

(Note clerical staff is not mentioned because it was adequate)

Final version of recommendation, including narrative:
Following review of the self-study and interviews on-site, the visiting committee determined that adequate allied dental personnel are not consistently available to the residents. Currently, the program is unable to provide continuous dental assisting and dental hygiene support for the residents; chairside assistance is provided approximately 25% of the time. Recruitment is ongoing for both allied areas. Consequently, this situation does not allow for resident training and experience in the use of modern concepts of oral health care delivery.

1. It is recommended that adequate support staff, including allied dental personnel, be consistently available to allow for student/resident training and experience in the use of modern concepts of oral health care delivery.

A SUGGESTION

  • May be made when the program is in compliance, but minimally.
  • The emphasis of the suggestion is on enhancing compliance.
  • The program is not obligated to address suggestions in the response.
  • A suggestion is written in the basic format of a recommendation:
    • It must relate to a Standard
    • Multiple sources must be cited, if applicable
    • Begin with "It is suggested….."

For Example:

Narrative
The sponsoring institution provides adequate and appropriately maintained facilities and learning resources to support the goals and objectives of the program. It was noted that while the program has a resource of books available in the dental clinic, they are maintained in a private office. The current arrangement could compromise the residents' access to the resources.

Add the "stem"
It is suggested that the program continue to develop its learning resources and consider relocating the resources to an area that will be more accessible to the residents.

Final version of the Suggestion
The sponsoring institution provides adequate and appropriately maintained facilities and learning resources to support the goals and objectives of the program. It was noted that, while the program has a resource of books available in the dental clinic, they are maintained in a private office. The current arrangement could compromise the residents' access to the resources. It is suggested that the program continue to develop its learning resources and consider relocating the resources to an area that will be more accessible to the residents.

CLARITY AND COMPLETENESS

  • It is most important to provide enough details in the rationale. It is better to include too much detail than not enough. Commission staff will appropriately edit the narrative.
  • Keep your audience in mind. Institutional administration, committee members and commissioners do not usually have first-hand knowledge of the program.
  • If you find a deficiency and fail to make a recommendation, the Commission will be unable to require the institution to remedy the problem. Your report is the record of the site visit. When the Commission meets, it must rely on your report. It is crucial that your report be complete and detailed. Worst case scenario: The report contains hints of major problems in the program, but the report does not follow through with clear explanations and recommendations.

OTHER COMMENTS
Narrative that documents a specific situation that future site visitors should be aware of can be included in the report.

Tips for Writing

Use this... Instead of...
multiple sources to verify relying on a single source
description of the verification process verification source to speculation
on-site interviews review of the names of people 
self-study document  observations
academic titles "the faculty who teaches.."
anonymity of sources  "on-site interviews revealing sources - "the students indicated…." said. 
short, concise, clear sentences complex, run-on verbiage 
a sound rationale to describe what you found
stating that the program "did not do X"
exact verbiage of the Standard fabricated comments
 
words spelled out but no product names acronyms
verbs such as determined, revealed, investigated, learned, noted, concluded, verified, observed uncovered, discovered documented
could not determine, could not document

After the Report is Written

  • After you have completed the SVER and submitted it to the Commission, staff will edit and compile it into the preliminary draft.
  • Each site visitor will receive a copy of the preliminary draft to review and approve before it is sent to the institution.
  • This is your opportunity to review and correct, if necessary, any editing Commission staff may have done.

Questions?
Contact Commission Staff