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Spread the mission of the DQA

November 03, 2014

by Kelly Soderlund

image of Dr. Schirmer
Dr. Schirmer
Learn more about quality measurement in dentistry and how it affects dentists and their practices at the Dental Quality Alliance conference next year.

The conference, Roles of Quality Measurement, is scheduled for May 1-2 at ADA Headquarters in Chicago, and 100 people will be selected to attend. The goal is to have a cross-section of thought leaders from different practice settings and geographical regions and people who have different abilities for influencing quality improvement.

"Quality measurement in health care is becoming an increasingly important aspect of the economics of dentistry," said Dr. David Schirmer, who attended last year's conference and is chair of the DQA's education committee. "We realize it's hard for the average member dentist to understand how this might affect them day to day in their practice. That's where our leaders come in. We want the leaders in dentistry to attend this conference and become our ambassadors in the field. We need their knowledge and experience to explain to our younger dentists why they need to be aware of quality measurement."

The DQA, formed in 2008 through a request from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, is comprised of multiple stakeholders from across the oral health community who are committed to development of consensus-based quality measures. Those who attend the conference will learn about the quality movement as it affects dentistry; the roles of various dental sectors in quality measurement; and the ongoing activities of the DQA.

"Eventually, all of dentistry will need to understand quality measures. But before we reach our grass roots membership, we need our leaders in dentistry to understand," Dr. Schirmer said. "I'm challenging those leaders to pave the way for their younger colleagues and help them understand the long-term impact this will have on dentistry."

The DQA has taken the lead on developing quality measures within oral health care. These measures touch every practicing dentist in the United States, and with dentistry, how it's modeled and how it's financed changes in the future — specifically as a result of the Affordable Care Act — they'll become even more prevalent. The mission of the DQA is to advance performance measurement as a means to improve oral health, patient care and safety through a consensus-building process.

Visit here to learn more about the conference or to apply. Those with questions can contact Manesa Vaclavik at