Dental Data Exchange: HL7® Implementation Guides

As part of the Dental Data Exchange Project, CareQuest Institute for Oral Health helped develop the first implementation guides to help bridge the communication gap between primary care and oral health care. National partners and thought leaders, including representatives from the Department of Defense, the American Dental Association (ADA), and the Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization (FEHRM) Program Office, collaborated on the guides, which include critical information for electronic dental health information (EHI) coordination.

Historically, oral and primary providers if they communicated at all about a patient, would do it by paper and email attachments, which creates additional work and a fragmented referral process. (Prior to this guide, only the medical profession had standards built for data exchange.) These new publications, the Health Level Seven® (HL7) CDA® and FHIR®* implementation guides, are designed to facilitate care coordination and create best practices for electronic exchange of patient data between dental and medical professionals. This exchange of information will support interprofessional practice, population health management, and value-based care.

The guides offer standards that include data models, defined data items and their corresponding code and value sets, and leverages the Reference Core Data Set for Communication Among Dental and Other Health Information Systems from the American Dental Association. They were informed by several projects including CareQuest Institute’s Medical Oral Expanded Care (MORE Care) initiative, which integrates oral health competencies and capabilities into primary care offices while building patient-centered referral networks with local dental providers.

View the Implementation Guide: HL7® CDA® R2 Implementation Guide: Dental Data Exchange, Release 1, STU 1 - US Realm

View the FHIR® Implementation Guide 

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Why Does This Matter?

Rebekah Fiehn, care coordination and interoperability manager at CareQuest Institute, helps explain why all of this is a big step forward for medical-dental integration and the oral health industry.

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