The clinical significance of the digital patient record.
BACKGROUND: Computer technology has revolutionized the way the world does business, allowing us to work faster, smarter and more efficiently than ever before. Computers first made their way into the dental office in the late 1960s as an accounts receivable device. Today, we can digitize anything and recall it in the operatory with the patient. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: This article discusses new trends in the digital patient record and the benefits this technology provides to the dental team in terms of improved data collection and recording. It also discusses the benefits a digital patient record provides to patients, as well as how to communicate patients' oral health needs using these electronic tools. (+info)
Consent: the patients' view--a summary of findings from a study of patients' perceptions of their consent to dental care.
AIM: A study was carried out which aimed to investigate peoples' perceptions of how their consent was given for dental treatment. METHOD: A structured questionnaire was completed by 50 patients receiving treatment in the British NHS and 12 of them completed an in-depth recorded interview. The data was analysed using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. RESULTS: The findings showed that 80% of patients had not been given any written treatment plan (FP17DC). 79% of patients mistakenly thought that the form signed requesting NHS treatment (FP17) was a consent form. When options were offered patients were more likely to consider that they were involved in the consenting process. However consent is still often implied rather than explicit. There was a range of experience reported by patients from those who felt that the dentist made the treatment decisions to those who felt that decisions had been made collaboratively. Although some patients were happy with the way their consent was obtained examples were also given of lack of information, confusion and even of deceit. CONCLUSIONS: There is an urgent need to clarify the status of NHS documentation regarding consent and a general need for awareness to be raised in the dental profession about the importance of obtaining consent which is freely given based on appropriate information which has been adequately understood. (+info)
Bringing the mountain to Mohammed: a mobile dental team serves a community-based program for people with HIV/AIDS.
In spite of the direct referral system and family-centered model of primary oral health care linking medical and dental care providers, most HIV-positive patients at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center received only emergency and episodic dental care between 1993 and 1998. To improve access to dental care for HIV/AIDS patients, a mobile program, called WE CARE, was developed and colocated in community-based organizations serving HIV-infected people. WE CARE provided preventive, early intervention, and comprehensive oral health services to minorities, low-income women and children, homeless youths, gays and lesbians, transgender individuals, and victims of past abuse. More efforts to colocate dental services with HIV/AIDS care at community-based organizations are urgently needed. (+info)
Small business needs assessment: a comparison of dental educators' responses with SBDC survey results.
A primary focus of dental education is to teach students the knowledge, skills, and values essential for practicing dentistry. However, the preparation of dentists to manage a business is frequently cited as inadequate. A survey was prepared to assess teachers' opinions of business instructional topics: challenges; desired training; employee benefits; learning resources; importance of business topics; and appropriateness of time allocations. The purpose of this project is to compare opinions of teachers of dental practice management with key management aspects reported for service businesses by the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Practice management teachers from forty-eight (89 percent) schools responded to the survey. They indicated that several challenges confronting dentists are similar to other service businesses. Dentists, however, rank customer relations appreciably higher. In order of importance of teaching topics, the practice management teachers rank ethics and personnel management as a high priority and planning as a low priority. Awareness of the similarities and differences in the perceptions of practice management teachers and businesspeople may result in instructional improvements. (+info)
Expectations and perceptions of Greek patients regarding the quality of dental health care.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate the perceptions and expectations of patients regarding the quality of dental health care they received and the criteria they used to select a dentist. DESIGN: Descriptive study. METHODS: Two questionnaires referring to the expectations and the perceptions of dental health care were handed to patients. Likert-type scales were used to evaluate the characteristics examined. These characteristics have been classified in four quality dimensions: 'assurance', 'empathy', 'reliability' and 'responsiveness'. STUDY PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: Two hundred consecutive patients who visited the Dental Clinic of the School of Dentistry, University of Athens, Greece, in 1998-1999. RESULTS: The patients' top priority was adherence to the rules of antisepsis and sterilization. Women of the middle and lower socio-economic groups were more demanding than men of the same groups, while men of the upper socio-economic group appeared to be more demanding than women (P = 0.02). Their perceptions of the dental service provided reflected their satisfaction regarding the adherence to the rules of antisepsis and sterilization, but also showed their moderate satisfaction regarding most of the other characteristics and their dissatisfaction regarding information on oral health and hygiene. CONCLUSION: Expectations and demands regarding empathy (approach to the patient) and assurance were placed at the top of the patients' priorities. A highly significant quality gap was observed between the desires of the patients and their perceptions (P< 0.01) and the largest gap was noted concerning information they received about oral health diseases. The largest quality gap was also observed in characteristics regarding responsiveness. (+info)
Problems with access to dental care for Medicaid-insured children: what caregivers think.
OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to gain insight into the experiences, attitudes, and perceptions of a racially and ethnically diverse group of caregivers regarding barriers to dental care for their Medicaid-insured children. METHODS: Criterion-purposive sampling was used to select participants for 11 focus groups, which were conducted in North Carolina. Seventy-seven caregivers of diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds participated. Full recordings of sessions were obtained and transcribed. A comprehensive content review of all data, including line-by-line analysis, was conducted. RESULTS: Negative experiences with the dental care system discouraged many caregivers in the focus groups from obtaining dental services for their Medicaid-insured children. Searching for providers, arranging an appointment where choices were severely limited, and finding transportation left caregivers describing themselves as discouraged and exhausted. Caregivers who successfully negotiated these barriers felt that they encountered additional barriers in the dental care setting, including long waiting times and judgmental, disrespectful, and discriminatory behavior from staff and providers because of their race and public assistance status. CONCLUSIONS: Current proposals to solve the dental access problem probably will be insufficient until barriers identified by caregivers are addressed. (+info)
Making patients safe and comfortable for a lifetime of dentistry: frontiers in office-based sedation.
Conscious sedation administered in the office setting is one important method for helping people obtain necessary dental care. Patients who may benefit from sedation include the dentally fearful, young children, the behaviorally or medically challenged, and individuals who are undergoing invasive procedures or have problems with gagging or local anesthesia. In-office sedation is effective in reducing apprehension and can improve patient behavior without adversely affecting the patient's physiological status. Mortality and serious morbidity are exceedingly rare in modern practice. Although behavioral strategies are clearly more cost-effective for the patient receiving routine dental care, in-office sedation is usually the least expensive alternative for patients requiring pharmacologic management. Future advances in conscious sedation may include agents and techniques currently thought to be dangerous for nongeneral anesthesia-trained dentists because of their ability to produce rapid changes in anesthetic depth. However, delivery devices such as infusion pumps for drugs like propofol, when coupled with computers to help regulate the infusion rate and monitor the sedative effect, may provide the necessary control for safe administration of propofol and similar drugs by these individuals. A final approach to drug delivery may involve patient-controlled sedation in which the patient self-infuses small boluses incrementally until the desired effect is achieved. (+info)
Long-term management of the fearful adult patient using behavior modification and other modalities.
This paper reviews reports on the treatment of fearful adult dental patients with special emphasis on behavioral and cognitive methods and long-term followup. A number of such treatment methods are available that can be used by dentists for the alleviation of fear and anxiety in their patients. At an "intuitive" level, many dentists probably use these methods frequently as a comprehensive part of everyday praxis. Considering the high number of fearful individuals visiting dentists regularly, a better knowledge of such methods would improve dental care for the majority of these patients. It would also help prevent aggravation of fears among individuals at risk. However, despite the success of treatment methods performed by specially trained dentists, it seems reasonable that there should be limits to what can be expected of a dentist in terms of psychological, diagnostic, and therapeutic competence. Dental phobia may constitute a complex psychological and odontological problem with far-reaching consequences for a relatively large proportion of fearful individuals. It therefore seems likely that optimal care of such patients can best be achieved by cross-disciplinary efforts involving both dentists and psychologists. (+info)