University of Colorado College of Dentistry report finds that medical-dental integration models can improve overall health care outcomes in vulnerable populations

University of Colorado College of Dentistry report finds that medical-dental integration models can improve overall health care outcomes in vulnerable populations

AURORA, CO and Washington, DC (September 20, 2022) Increasing communication between dental and medical providers reduces barriers to providing care. According to a new report from the University of Colorado College of Dentistry, medical and dental integration (MDI) improves positive health outcomes in high-risk populations, such as at-risk children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those in need of chronic disease management. .

Dr. Tamana Tiwari, assistant professor in the Department of Community Dentistry and Population Health at the University of Colorado College of Dentistry at Anschutz Medical Center, has led the review of MDI models over the past decade.

“The review found that in the MDI model, coordinated and streamlined communication and collaboration among the entire care team is critical to positive patient outcomes and provider engagement,” said Dr. Tiwari. “Identifying innovative ways to adapt to specific situations may help increase access to oral health examinations, diagnose patients and refer patients for the management of chronic diseases. This would reduce the number of appointments and providers a patient has to deal with, increasing the likelihood that patients will receive preventative care critical.”

Funded by Delta Dental Institute Reportwhich supports research-based exploration of models of care delivery such as MDI that improve health care outcomes and advance patient-centered care.

“Oral health is a critical component of a person’s whole health,” said Joseph Dale, MD, MBA, chair of dental sciences at Delta Dental Institute. “Models of care delivery that rely on collaboration and integration between primary care and dental teams, when successfully implemented, can create more holistic approaches that help the health care system work better for everyone.”

Key points from the report include:

  • Implementation best practices
    • Coordinated and streamlined communication, collaboration, and adaptability amongst the entire care team.
    • EHR integration and interoperability.
    • Using warm deliveries and emerging technologies, such as telehealth and telemedicine, to coordinate care, manage complex patients, and close referral loops.
  • Recommendations for the sustainability of integrated services
    • Training medical professionals in oral health care, increasing the contribution of dental professionals, and increasing the diversity and cultural competence of care teams for long-term viability.
    • Achieving better health outcomes at lower costs by implementing the value-based model of care in MDI, which orchestrates healthcare systems, patients, and providers.
    • Maintaining positive net revenue through MDI models that maintain patient and payer volume distributions. in coordination
  • A snapshot of successful care models
    • There is no single formula for the success of the MDI model; Adapting to specific situations and finding creative ways to maximize success is critical to the continued evolution of integrated care.
    • The co-presence model of services can improve coordination of care, improving access to oral care, dental referrals, and preventative measures. This model does not require full integration to be successful.
    • The fully integrated care model includes the use of electronic health records (EHRs) and provider collaboration to improve services for patients, creating diverse referral relationships with dentists and can use strategies such as teledentistry to improve access to care.

Dr. Tiwari will present her findings in the report at the Interprofessional Collaborations to Improve Oral Health session on November 7, 2022, during the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association.

Click here to read the full report.


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