OHSU

Growing Pediatric Dentistry Department Goes Digital

10/11/06   Portland, Ore.

The one-year-old Dr. and Mrs. Carl Rietman Pediatric Dentistry Clinic at OHSU’s School of Dentistry is one of the few dental school clinics in the United States with a paperless and filmless patient record system

Patient information in OHSU's Dr. and Mrs. Carl Rietman Pediatric Dentistry Clinic is now even more secure, thanks to a digital system recently initiated by the School of Dentistry (www.ohsu.edu/sod). In early July, the one-year-old clinic moved from a paper and X-ray film-based patient chart to a fully electronic system that can be easily accessed by appropriate health personnel via a computer at every patient chair.

OHSU School of Dentistry is one of a few dental schools in the United States utilizing a paperless and filmless patient record system. Only a very limited number of Portland-area private dentists' offices are entirely paperless and filmless.

Going digital for patient recordkeeping has many distinct advantages, according to Denice Stewart, D.D.S., M.H.S.A., associate dean for clinical affairs at the OHSU School of Dentistry. Patient information can be stored more securely. The computer system that was selected, axiUm from Exan Academic, limits access to confidential patient information so only authorized individuals can view it. It is faster to retrieve patient information electronically than to request and pull a paper record, Stewart said, and more than one person treating the patient can access the record at the same time. Pediatric dentistry residents and dental students have the advantage of using the electronic record while in training.

The computer system also has safety features alerting dentists and students to critical information, such as allergies, which reduces the chance of error. Monitoring patient care and compliance with standards is much easier with the axiUm system.  "While we have always been in compliance with state and federal regulations, like HIPAA, the ability to do so is much easier," added Stewart.

The Dr. and Mrs. Carl Rietman Pediatric Dentistry Clinic offers children from ages birth to 14 – including children with special needs – high-quality, comprehensive dental care.

Between July 1, 2005, and June 30, 2006, 1,590 children were treated at the School of Dentistry — a 78 percent increase from the year prior. About 5 percent of pediatric dentistry patients are children with special needs.

The Dr. and Mrs. Carl Rietman Pediatric Dentistry Clinic is currently accepting new patients. To make an appointment, call 503-494-8867.

"It has been great to have a dedicated clinic for our young dental patients," said Prashant Gagneja, D.D.S., M.S., who chairs OHSU's pediatric dentistry department. "Our new facility is warm, inviting and private. It has all the latest technology to ensure our faculty and students can provide children with the best dental care. We have three separate rooms for children with special needs. And the new facility has not only boosted the number of pediatric patients we see daily, but shortened waiting times for families."

The Dr. and Mrs. Carl Rietman Pediatric Dentistry Clinic, located on the ground floor of the School of Dentistry (611 S.W. Campus Drive) was made possible by a generous gift from the estate of Camilla Rietman, a Coquille, Ore., philanthropist and longtime supporter of the School of Dentistry.

"Digital record keeping is just the next logical step in ensuring our pediatric dentistry clinic is a state-of-the-art experience for our young dentistry patients," said Jack Clinton, D.M.D., dean, School of Dentistry. "We are very proud of our pediatric dentistry clinic and what we have been able to accomplish there for young patients in just a short amount of time."

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