PDS creates the first true mouth-body connection


Pacific Dental Services (PDS), one of the nation’s leading dental support organizations, announced that it has fully deployed Epic, the most widely used comprehensive electronic health records system in the United States, to 100% of its dental offices. supported. Currently supporting nearly 900 dental practices and growing, PDS is the first organization of its kind in the world to enable the integration of dental and medical data, which promises to improve patient health.

As the largest commitment of time, energy and resources to a single project in PDS history, even as the COVID-19 pandemic gained traction in early 2020, the decision was made to proceed with the deployment of its supported practices, with the first launch in April of the same year.

Implementing Epic across all PDS-supported practices illustrates its unwavering commitment to changing the way the dental and medical professions are connected. “Oral care is an essential part of overall health, and this investment has enabled our supported clinicians and their patients to participate more fully in the promise of a comprehensive, seamless health system focused on the health of all.” the body,” said Stephen E. Thorne IV. , Founder and CEO of Pacific Dental Services.

In just over two years, PDS has successfully converted over 9.7 million patient records from its existing practice management software to Epic, spent 16,000 hours training nearly 14,000 team members and clinicians, integrated the new software with existing human resources, revenue cycle management and financial systems. , and has completed the rollout to more than 885 supported individual practices in 25 states.

Epic holds current electronic health records for more than 250 million patients. The system is used by leading hospitals, health systems and medical schools, which rely on the company’s unique software to manage the patient healthcare journey. A number of dental schools have also started transitioning their systems to Epic for this reason.

“Whether patients at PDS-supported practices visit the dentist, a clinic, or a hospital, their providers can now view their dental history along with the rest of their medical history from a single record in Epic. “, said Judy Faulkner, founder. and CEO of Epic. “Our collaboration with PDS supports the link between dental and medical care, creating a more holistic approach to health.”

Integrating a powerful health records system into a nationwide dental support organization promises improved oral-systemic care, as clinicians supported by PDS can now digitally share important information about the health of their patients with other healthcare professionals, closing gaps in care, reducing duplication and promoting better overall health.

Other benefits of Pacific Dental Services Epic deployment include:

  • Transparent visualization and understanding of patient data, including patient visits, lab results, prescriptions, and more.
  • Create more in-depth treatment plans by understanding the effect of oral health on systemic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, pregnancy, etc.
  • Early identification of diseases, such as diabetes, based on changes in gum and oral health, leading to closer collaboration with medical providers and better patient outcomes
  • Help supported dentists and their teams establish a relationship of trust with their patients and participate more fully in an integrated health system
  • Allowing patients to view their acute health, primary health and dental health history in one place. By accessing their own health information through Epic’s MyChart patient portal, patients can also communicate with providers, schedule appointments, request prescription refills, and more.

This milestone also shows patients that visiting the dentist is an important part of overall healthcare, especially as collaboration and coordinated care between medical and dental providers becomes the norm.

As part of its efforts to revolutionize healthcare and advocate for better collaboration between medical and dental professionals, one of the main challenges that PDS faced was compartmentalized healthcare data, where records do not are accessible only to service providers on the same platform. To combat this, PDS worked with Epic as a vanguard dental partner over four years ago to enhance and optimize Epic’s dental module, Wisdom, to better support a national organization. .

The benefits of this considerable effort were immediately noticed. Immediately, dental professionals supported by PDS found that integrated health records provided a better understanding of their patients’ overall health, which resulted in more effective treatment plans. It also helped their patients take more ownership of their health, as they were able to better connect their oral health to their overall health.

This unique partnership reinforces PDS’s goal of educating others about the connection between their oral health and their overall health – what PDS and its supported practices call The Mouth-Body Connection. Research shows that harmful bacteria and inflammation in the mouth can indicate and even cause systemic conditions throughout the body. Periodontal disease has been linked to systemic health issues such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, premature/low birth weight, cancer and more. Conversely, the link is often bidirectional. Many systemic diseases, conditions, and even medications can affect a patient’s oral health.

“We have long promoted the mouth-body connection as an essential understanding of systemic patient care. By improving collaboration between dental and medical professionals, integrating Epic into all of our practices sets in motion our core philosophy,” said Thorne. “We pride ourselves on investing in the best tools, systems and advanced, proven technologies available, and our partnership with a world-class operation like Epic underscores our commitment to whole-body health.”

About Pacific Dental Services

Founded in 1994, Pacific Dental Services (PDS) is one of the nation’s leading dental support organizations, providing sustained autonomy that allows dentists to focus on clinical excellence and the highest levels of comprehensive, cost-effective patient care.

PDS pioneered the Private Practice+ model to allow dentists to focus on their passion: serving patients. PDS also pioneered the concept of modern dentistry so that dentists are equipped to combine the advancements of the latest technologies with the best operational practices and procedures, highly trained support staff, and a commitment to ongoing training and education. PDS continues to grow, with over 885 dental offices supported across the United States.

PDS has been named to the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies 14 times. Dentists supported by PDS aim to be the provider of choice in all the markets they serve and to grow Patients for Life. For more information, visit us at pacificdentalservices.com or follow us on Facebook: @pacificdentalservices, Instagram: @pacific.dental, LinkedIn: @pacific-dental-services, Twitter: @pacificdentaland YouTube: @pacificdentaltv.

Epic, Wisdom and MyChart are registered trademarks of Epic Systems Corporation.


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