Health Care Politics Management

‘Breaking new ground’ in standards development

From ADA News:

For most dentists, the development of the guide means that when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services eventually publishes Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Claim Attachments regulation, there will be a tested and proven way to report dentist-defined periodontal examination data in a standardized, structured, electronic document,

Source: ‘Breaking new ground’ in standards development

This is a good first step and the ADA deserves some credit. However if history is a guide we need more than a standard we need the dental software vendors to follow the standard.

For example there has been a radiograph standard called dicom in effect for more than twenty years. No dental radiography vendors routinely use the standard. You need to request it and apply it as an added step. The vendors would rather keep you captive in a proprietary system.

Even worse it is a disgrace that there is no dental charting standard. It should be easy and automatic to transfer an electronic dental record from one dentist to another regardless of the management software in use at either end of the transfer.

Standards are the necessary first step, however they are useless if they are not followed. Vendors will only follow standards if we the buyer demand it or if it is mandated by government.

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