Appl Clin Inform 2016; 07(02): 516-533
DOI: 10.4338/ACI-2015-11-RA-0150
Research Article
Schattauer GmbH

Exploring Dental Providers’ Workflow in an Electronic Dental Record Environment

Kelsey M Schwei
1  Institute for Oral and Systemic Health, Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Marshfield, Wisconsin, USA
,
Ryan Cooper
2  Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
,
Andrea N. Mahnke
3  Biomedical Informatics Research Center, Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Marshfield, Wisconsin USA
,
Zhan Ye
3  Biomedical Informatics Research Center, Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Marshfield, Wisconsin USA
,
Amit Acharya
1  Institute for Oral and Systemic Health, Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Marshfield, Wisconsin, USA
3  Biomedical Informatics Research Center, Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Marshfield, Wisconsin USA
› Author Affiliations
The authors thank the MCHS dental centers for their participation in this study. The authors also thank Dr. Ingrid Glurich and Ms. Dixie Schroeder for help with the final review of the manuscript. This project was supported, in part, by a grant from Delta Dental of Wisconsin, and funds from Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation and Family Health Center of Marshfield, Inc.
Further Information
Correspondence to:
Dr. Amit Acharya
Institute for Oral and Systemic Health
Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation
000 North Oak Avenue
Marshfield
WI 54449
Phone: 715-221-6423   

Publication History

received: 13 November 2015

accepted: 01 April 2016

Publication Date:
16 December 2017 (online)

 

Summary

Background

A workflow is defined as a predefined set of work steps and partial ordering of these steps in any environment to achieve the expected outcome. Few studies have investigated the workflow of providers in a dental office. It is important to understand the interaction of dental providers with the existing technologies at point of care to assess breakdown in the workflow which could contribute to better technology designs.

Objective

The study objective was to assess electronic dental record (EDR) workflows using time and motion methodology in order to identify breakdowns and opportunities for process improvement.

Methods

A time and motion methodology was used to study the human-computer interaction and workflow of dental providers with an EDR in four dental centers at a large healthcare organization. A data collection tool was developed to capture the workflow of dental providers and staff while they interacted with an EDR during initial, planned, and emergency patient visits, and at the front desk. Qualitative and quantitative analysis was conducted on the observational data.

Results

Breakdowns in workflow were identified while posting charges, viewing radiographs, e-prescribing, and interacting with patient scheduler. EDR interaction time was significantly different between dentists and dental assistants (6:20 min vs. 10:57 min, p = 0.013) and between dentists and dental hygienists (6:20 min vs. 9:36 min, p = 0.003).

Conclusions

On average, a dentist spent far less time than dental assistants and dental hygienists in data recording within the EDR.


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Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


Correspondence to:
Dr. Amit Acharya
Institute for Oral and Systemic Health
Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation
000 North Oak Avenue
Marshfield
WI 54449
Phone: 715-221-6423