To better understand the criteria (or standards) needed to identify best practices for building effective oral health programs, the ASTDD Best Practices Project requested input from the states and territories. ASTDD implemented the ASTDD Best Practices Survey in FY 2000-2001 asking state and territorial dental directors and lead dental consultants from health agencies to develop the criteria and categories for best practices. The survey used a Delphi process. A total of 47 states/territories responded (90% of the 50 states and District of Columbia).
Respondents established and ranked the importance of the criteria for best practices. The top best practice criteria are:
- Effectiveness of the practice
- Efficiency of the practice
- Rationale and/or objectives of the practice
- Sustainability of the practice
- Collaboration and integration of the practice
- Applicability, adaptability and acceptability of the practice
- Developmental stage and innovation of the practice
Respondents also established and ranked functional categories for best practices. The survey results guided the Best Practices Committee to develop the following index for searching best practices, based on the three core public health functions of assessment, policy development and assurance.
- Acquiring Data
- Use of Data
- Collaboration and Partnership for Planning and Integration
- Oral Health Program Policies
- Use of State Oral Health Plan
- Oral Health Program Organizational Structure and Resources
- Population-Based Interventions
- Oral Health Communications
- Building Linkages and Partnerships for Interventions
- Building Community Capacity for Interventions
- Access to Care and Health System Interventions
- Program Evaluation for Outcomes and Quality Management
The Best Practices Project also conducted the ASTDD Survey of Successful Practices in FY 2000-2001 asking state and territorial oral health programs to report dental public health practices with "superior outcomes." Thirty-five (35) state oral health programs reported 341 practices. The survey results led the Best Practices Project to enlist state and territorial oral health programs to provide detailed descriptions of dental public health practices that have been successful within the context of their state and program.
Summary report of the ASTDD Survey of Successful Practices (2000-2001)