Module 5: Operating Effective Programs
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Please Note: This curriculum was developed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and may not reflect current guidance for materials, procedures, and infection control.

Image of girl in chair

5.5 ODH-Funded Program Requirements

In awarding school-based dental sealant program grants, ODH is accountable to government overseers and the public for the appropriate use of funds. To fulfill this responsibility, ODH sets requirements and monitors the compliance of the programs it funds.

All ODH-funded programs must comply with the commitments made through the application submitted in response to the ODH request for proposals and with ODH’s grants administration policies and procedures (GAPP), which are administered by the ODH Grants Administration Unit (GAU). Agencies that do not comply with GAPP risk loss of funding and may jeopardize their opportunities for future funding. Compliance with GAPP reporting requirements and with the Subgrantee Performance Evaluation System (SPES) is discussed in Reporting. In addition, all ODH-funded programs must comply with rules outlined in the School-Based Dental Sealant Program Manual.

Image of school-based dental sealant program manual
School-Based Dental Sealant Program Manual

Data Management

School-based dental sealant program data are necessary for program operations, accountability, and reporting to funders and others. Data collection begins with the consent form, which also serves as a questionnaire for the parent. ODH has available a sample consent form containing basic information that the department requires. For example, all programs must ask a question about race using the required choices for parent response. Needed data must be transferred from the hard-copy consent form to a spreadsheet or another database and then aggregated and outputted.

ODH does not require funded programs to use a particular data-entry system or database for managing dental sealant program data. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed Sealant Efficiency Assessment for Locals and States (SEALS), a spreadsheet program for inputting, analyzing, and reporting sealant program data. To date, ODH has not adopted SEALS. SEALS software allows school-based sealant programs to estimate their effectiveness and efficiency. Data is entered into SEALS for each school sealant event. SEALS and its accompanying package, SEALS_Admin, generates reports for each school, for programs (combines data across schools served by a single program), and for the state (combines data across programs funded by a state). SEALS reports include the following information:

  • Sociodemographic information on the population a program serves
  • Basic screening survey indicators
  • Summary measures on whether the program is sealing high-risk teeth (e.g., tooth type and estimated caries attack rate without the program)
  • A summary of services delivered by the program
  • A summary indicator of quality (e.g., retention rate, number of prevented caries, referrals, referral success rate)
  • Indicators of efficiency (e.g., program cost to prevent one cavity, number of children sealed per chair hour)

SEALS software is available free of charge from CDC. Training and limited support are also available from CDC. Currently, SEALS software is not capable of producing invoices for third-party payers such as Medicaid.

The patient record contains the results of the dentist’s findings and the sealant treatment plan for each child. The record also provides a place for the dental sealant team to document sealants placed. ODH has available a sample patient record with a key to be used for coding surfaces of the teeth targeted for sealant placement. The patient record provides a large portion of the data reported to ODH.

Often, the person entering data into ODH’s required reports is not a member of the dental sealant team and may not fully understand what the information represents. Therefore, ODH has provided a sample screening/sealant-placement data-collection form to be completed for each school by the sealant team. The form was developed to help the person entering data into ODH’s reporting system easily determine where to record these data.


Screenshot of ODH Subgrantee Performance Evaluation System
Screenshot of ODH Subgrantee Performance Evaluation System

All reports to ODH must be timely, complete, accurate, and reasonable. Full detail on reporting requirements for ODH-funded school-based dental sealant programs can be found in the School-Based Dental Sealant Program Manual.

This section provides information about SPES and about different categories of reporting that ODH requires.

Subgrantee Performance Evaluation System

SPES is the ODH-required electronic submission system for program reports. ODH-funded programs report data directly into this system, which generates ODH reports. ODH provides training to its programs on the use of SPES and provides its programs with an electronic file tutorial on completing SPES reports and usernames and passwords to enable them to access the SPES system. This document outlines the data required by ODH-funded programs.

After completing data entry for one quarter, programs must submit a performance review report. This report includes a spreadsheet attachment that lists each school visited that quarter and the respective dates on which dental sealant placement was completed. Program staff can log in any time to see the status of reviews they have submitted, along with any comments from ODH consultants. Programs will be notified of any required revisions and, in those instances, the status of the performance review will be changed back to “draft” for editing. Otherwise, the report is complete.

Inventory Report

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As required by GAPP, a list of all equipment costing $300 or more per item purchased in whole or in part with current grant funds must be submitted via Government Management Information System 2.0 as part of the Subgrantee Final Expenditure Report. At least once every 2 years, programs must physically inspect equipment. All equipment purchased with ODH grant funds is ODH property and must be tagged as such for inventory control. Programs are responsible for maintenance of equipment purchased with grant funds or on loan from ODH.

ODH-Generated Reports

In addition to the reports generated by programs, ODH generates reports that integrate program and expenditure reports for each program and for the overall statewide school-based dental sealant program. ODH reviews reports for completeness and accuracy and makes follow-up contacts as needed. Data from program reports are used in reviewing sealant programs’ performance against ODH benchmarks as well as for reporting to state and national entities. These reports are used to inform programs of their performance and to validate numbers in grant applications.

Dashboard Reports

Dashboard reports are two-page reports for each program and for the statewide program that provide at-a-glance assessments of progress on the targeted number of children to receive sealants, the cost per child, Medicaid income, program participation, and follow-up/long-term sealant retention. The reports are generated quarterly and at the end of the year. Multi-year dashboard reports going back through calendar year 2005 show trends.

Program Comparison Graphs

ODH compares specific aspects of the program, similar to those calculated in the dashboard reports, to graphically illustrate how the statewide program and each local program perform relative to benchmarks and to other local sealant programs. Graphs shared with programs do not include program names, but each grantee is told which bar represents its program.

Benchmarks and Performance Standards

Programs are encouraged to meet the following benchmarks established by ODH, based on years of programmatic success and data analysis:

  • More than 50 percent of children have parental consent to receive sealants
  • More than 97 percent of children with consent are screened
  • More than 90 percent of children in need of sealants receive sealants
  • More than 65 percent of children are screened for follow-up in 3rd and 7th grades
  • More than 15 children per team per day receive sealants
  • Overall cost per child receiving sealants in the program is between $49 and $56 (2008)
  • More than 90 percent long-term retention
  • 100 percent short-term retention, if there are triggers for short-term retention checks.

ODH strives to ensure that high-quality sealants are provided to children at higher risk for dental caries, and the department helps local programs meet this expectation. Performance that does not meet expectations results in the initiation of steps for improvement.