Unit 4: Administrative Operations
Administrative Operations

Section 5: Billing and Collections

Electronic Dental Record

Health Information technology (HIT) has the potential to integrate care across multi-disciplinary health care systems. HIT systems provide the ability to increase both the quality and the safety of patient care. Availability of organized, structured data means that the data can be analyzed and reported on and used for QA/QI. The ADA Dental Informatics page provides information and links related to this topic.

In community health centers, FQHCs, and stand-alone safety net dental clinics, an electronic dental record (EDR) facilitates streamlined billing and collection. Consequently, it is recommended that new programs carefully consider an EDR rather than paper charting and billing processes.

In most instances, the selected vendor will be able to assist with setting up fees, charge tables, and insurance tables. The vendor will typically provide training to staff and health professionals. It is useful, as well, if the vendor trains one or more superusers who can train new staff and manage changes to fees and charge tables.

Among other important considerations in selecting an EDR are:

  • Compatibility or future compatibility with system’s electronic medical record. Health Level Seven communication standard is a must.
  • Ability to collect and report data in uniform data system format (if a FQHC or look-alike).
  • Ability to track measures for meaningful use. A good guide to making EDR selection decisions based on meaningful use needs can be found in NNOHA's Guide to The Future.