The benefits of integrating oral health care and overall health care are well-known. However, the inability for medical and dental providers to access and contribute to shared patient records continues to be a barrier to an integrated health system.
To learn about provider experiences with electronic health records (EHRs), CareQuest Institute conducted a survey of more than 100 medical and dental providers at Federally Qualified Health Centers. FQHCs were selected due to their role as innovators and early adopters of medical-dental integration.
Barriers to an Integrated Health System
Key findings from the survey highlight significant barriers to collaboration and data exchange, including:
- Fewer than half (42%) of dental providers at colocated facilities can use their health center’s EHR system to enter information into patients’ medical records.
- The vast majority (88%) of medical and dental providers at colocated facilities cannot revise their mutual patients’ treatment plans.
- Medical providers have more access to identify medications and make referrals to outside health care providers through the EHR system than do dental providers.
- All dental providers (100%) would like the ability to view their patients’ medical information.
To create a truly person-centered care health system that includes co-management of oral and systemic health, medical and dental EHR integration is necessary.
You may also be interested in:
- The Oral-Systemic Connection Across the Lifespan, an infographic that summarizes research on how dental health affects overall health from pregnancy through older adulthood.
- Missed Connections: Providers and Consumers Want More Medical-Dental Integration, a visual report showing that consumers and providers understand the connection between oral health and overall health and are eager for changes to integrate the health care system.
- Cost, Race, and the Persistent Challenges in Our Oral Health System, a report that explores two leading contributors to oral health disparities, as uncovered by our nationally representative, annual survey on the state of oral health in the United States.