Appl Clin Inform 2019; 10(03): 367-376
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1688832
Research Article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Improving Oral–Systemic Healthcare through the Interoperability of Electronic Medical and Dental Records: An Exploratory Study

Lisa Simon
1  Department of Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
,
Enihomo Obadan-Udoh
2  Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, Division of Oral Epidemiology and Dental Public Health, UCSF School of Dentistry, San Francisco, California, United States
,
Alfa-Ibrahim Yansane
3  Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, UCSF School of Dentistry, San Francisco, California, United States
,
Arti Gharpure
3  Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, UCSF School of Dentistry, San Francisco, California, United States
,
Steven Licht
4  University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
,
Jean Calvo
5  Department of Pediatric Dentistry, UCSF School of Dentistry, San Francisco, California, United States
,
James Deschner
6  University Medical Center, University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany
,
Anna Damanaki
7  Department of Periodontology and Operative Dentistry, University Medical Center, University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany
,
Berit Hackenberg
8  Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University Medical Center, University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany
,
Muhammad Walji
9  Department of Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences, Technology Services and Informatics, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Dentistry, Houston, Texas, United States
,
Heiko Spallek
10  The University of Sydney School of Dentistry, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia
,
Elsbeth Kalenderian
3  Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, UCSF School of Dentistry, San Francisco, California, United States
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

12 February 2019

08 April 2019

Publication Date:
29 May 2019 (online)

Abstract

Objectives Electronic health records (EHRs) are rarely shared among medical and dental providers. The purpose of this study was to assess current information sharing and the value of improved electronic information sharing among physicians and dentists in Germany and the United States.

Materials and Methods A survey was validated and distributed electronically to physicians and dentists at four academic medical centers. Respondents were asked anonymously about EHR use and the medical and dental information most valuable to their practice.

Results There were 118 responses, a response rate of 23.2%. The majority (63.9%) of respondents were dentists and the remainder were physicians. Most respondents (66.3%) rated the importance of sharing information an 8 or above on a 1-to-10 Likert scale. Dentists rated the importance of sharing clinical information significantly higher than physicians (p = 0.0033). Most (68.5%) providers could recall an instance when access to medical or dental information would have improved patient care. Dentists were significantly more likely to report this than physicians (p = 0.008).

Conclusion Physicians would value a standardized measure of “oral health” in their EHR. Dentists were less likely to find specific medical diagnostic test results of value. Both dentists and physicians agreed that oral–systemic health was important; interoperable EHRs could facilitate information transfer between providers and enhance research on oral–systemic health connections. Both dentists and physicians believed that an interoperable EHR would be useful to practice, but desired information was different between these groups. Refinement of the information needed for shared practice is required.

Protection of Human and Animal Subjects

Human subjects review board approval was obtained from all sites at which the survey was administered (Harvard University, University of California San Francisco, University of Pittsburgh, and Bonn University).