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Who Owns the Data? Good Question

I think the following comment regarding this post from last week is worth highlighting.

You are right on target about the PMS companies NOT owning the data in the PMS. So it baffles me that Henry Schein has take the opposite stance with Dentrix G5. If you don’t already know – they have encrypted the database in this new version, and have told users that they can work only with the 3rd party vendors THEY (Schein) chooose. So for things like e-claims, you can’t choose any company you like to extract the claim data from G5 and submit claims for you. Ditto for digital x-ray systems – only the ones “approved” by Schein will get access to your patient data in G5.

I’m curious to know your opinion on this decision, and what you think dentists should do if they disagree with it.


Brian Smith
Lighthouse PMG

On the one hand I completely understand that PMS systems like Dentrix and the others must take action to protect the patient data base from both hackers and possible corruption from third party vendors writing directly to the application.

On the other hand I believe that as the creator and custodian of the data the dentist should have complete access to it in a usable fashion to export as he/she sees fit. Of course the dentist still needs to abide by HIPAA and other rules regarding care of the data. Never the less if I own it, as opposed to the PMS system owning it, then I should be able to use it and the current systems do not function in that manner.

What should dentists do? I am not sure, however the vast majority have never considered the issue. That is why I am bringing it up.

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