Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Doctor Dentist

Altarum has recently launched a public health Web application, Michigan’s Dental Registry (MiDR℠), aimed at transforming the way medical and dental providers communicate regarding their patients’ oral health. MiDR is a Web-based application that increases communication and transparency among the patient’s care team, allowing for better coordination in patient treatment and referrals across the medical and dental settings, positively impacting the quality of oral health care provided, and increasing early prevention among young patients. 

MiDR℠ was born out of the need to establish a mode of communication between care providers that takes into account the significantly different technology environments of each setting. Through it, providers can document preventive oral health services provided, insert notes for the dentist to review, and place referrals directly to dentists who accept patients with Healthy Kids Dental coverage. Referrals are transmitted via fax to the dental office, and the dental office can then look up the patient record directly and update it as needed.

Care coordination is a key component to effectively improving oral health behaviors and reducing the burden of oral health disease in children. As primary care providers become more involved in the provision of preventive oral health services, counseling patients and identifying behavior risks, supporting communication with the patient’s dental provider will play a significant role in reducing duplicative care and improving quality of care.

MiDR℠ supports the flow of information between the medical and dental provider:

MiDR Scenario 2

The Medical-Dental Divide

Historically, medical and dental providers have operated under distinct payment and service delivery infrastructures. This has resulted in very different care practices in regards to billing expectations, performance metrics, and technology adoption. Due to these differing environments, communication channels have not been established between the providers, and oral health care is largely nonexistent in the medical setting.

Recent efforts throughout the US have worked to change that through integrating oral health care into the medical setting by providing training and workflow redesign to improve practices. Through the efforts of the Michigan Caries Prevention Program, over 1,300 primary care providers throughout Michigan have successfully integrated preventive oral health services into their care setting. They’ve completed the certification required and improved their clinic processes to consistently provide their patients fluoride varnish, oral health screenings, and counseling to identify risky behaviors and improve oral health habits, instilling in their patients the importance of visiting the dentist regularly.

However, without the ability to communicate their patients’ care needs to their counterparts in the dental setting, primary care providers feel uninformed and disconnected in regards to their patients’ oral health care. MiDR℠ aims to bridge that divide and enable communication regarding the patient’s care treatment with the goal of achieving true continuity of care.

How to Access MiDR

MiDR℠ is currently available on the MILogin State of Michigan Single Sign On system, and medical and dental providers can create an account to place and receive referrals today. MiDR℠ is also pursuing electronic health record (EHR) integration for easier adoption, and is already available on Allscripts Professional EHR.

MiDR℠ is recognized as a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services-designated Specialized Registry that houses information related to children’s access to and use of preventive oral health services in both medical and dental settings. Data collected in the tool is submitted to the State of Michigan, creating a valid, reportable data system for monitoring pediatric oral health access to services, and overall dental caries rates.

Medical & Dental providers, complete the following steps to start using MiDR℠:

  1. Make a MILogin account (or log in to your existing account)
  2. Request access to MiDR℠
  3. Make your MiDR℠ profile:
    1. How to make a Medical Profile
    2. How to make a Dental Profile
  4. Communicate with your patients’ care providers regarding their oral health.

Implementation Specialists are available to visit your clinic and onboard your team. Call 1-844-4-MITEETH (1-844-464-8338) to arrange these services today.

Interested in learning more about MiDR? Watch a Demo for Dental Providers, or Watch a Demo for Medical Providers.

If you have any questions about MiDR, send us an email at: MiDR@altarum.org.

All postings to the Health Policy Forum (whether from employees or those outside the Institute) represent the views of the individual authors and/or organizations and do not necessarily represent the position, interests, strategy, or opinions of Altarum Institute. Altarum is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. No posting should be considered an endorsement by Altarum of individual candidates, political parties, opinions or policy positions.