Integration vs. Bridging

by Larry Emmott on June 21, 2011

in Paperless,Software

All the patient information: chart notes, radiographs, probings, correspondence, photographs and all the rest should be linked to the patient chart. This can be accomplished in two ways; integration or bridging.

Integration: If the data and radiographs are integrated as part of the digital patient record that usually means that the radiographic application is made by the same company as the charting application. The images can be seen within the chart application. The images and chart data share a common data base.

Bridging: Bridging is usually done in order to link applications made by different companies. The radiographs are not visible as part of the chart but can be accessed with a single click.

Integration and bridging are technically different but both work well and provide the user with a similar experience. Dentists should avoid using stand alone add on systems that are not linked to the patient record. A stand alone system will be much harder to use, take more time and is more prone to error or lost data.

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