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Quality Improvement and Oral Health

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This collection of selected resources offers high-quality information about quality improvement. Use the tools below for further searching, or contact us for personalized assistance.

Key Facts

  Share these facts to help improve the oral health of pregnant women, children, and adolescents and their families.

  • Launching a broad quality-improvement initiative in dentistry will have an enormous positive impact on the way oral health care is delivered and will ultimately improve the oral health of Americans. 1
  • The need to improve systems of oral health care, together with the increasing use of quality improvement in other health care sectors, makes it imperative that oral health professionals create the culture and systems necessary to apply quality-improvement principles and activities for the benefit of patients, the public at large, and the profession. 1
  • By incorporating evidence-based guidelines into payment models, private and public payers have the capacity to improve oral health care and ultimately oral health outcomes. 2
  • Oral health is essential to overall health and well-being, yet quality-improvement initiatives in oral health care have lagged behind efforts in other health care sectors. 3
  • The drivers of quality improvement in oral health are the same as those in general health systems: increasing cost of oral health care, increasing understanding of unwarranted variability produced by the oral-health-care system, and evidence of the profound health disparities that still exist in the population in spite of scientific advances in care. 4
  • Oral-health-related quality of life research can be used to inform public policy and help eradicate oral health disparities. 5
  • Effectively using patients as teachers to provide authentic feedback is an underused strategy in oral health education and has potential for integrating the teaching of therapeutic communication skills within the dental clinic setting. 6
  • Patients have better health outcomes when health professionals are good communicators; thus, the major thrust of the patient-centered principle is to encourage the development of caring oral health professionals able to communicate effectively. 6
  • Interventions tailored to individual practice needs can lead to substantial, simultaneous, and sustained improvements in obesity detection and counseling, lead screening, and fluoride varnish application and dental caries prevention and hold promise as a broad-based method to advance pediatric preventive care. 7

References

  1. Chalmers NI, Scoville R, Richman A, Crall JJ, Aravamudhan K, Wai Ng M. 2016. Improving quality in dentistry: An imperative for the profession. Pediatric Dentistry 38(4):274–276.
  2. Tinanoff N. 2012. Potential to improve oral health care through evidence, protocols, and payment models. Public Health Dentistry 72(Suppl 1):S48–51.
  3. Herndon JB, Carll JJ, Aravamudhan K, Catalanotto FA, Huang IC, Rudner N, Tomar SL, Shenkman EA. 2015. Developing and testing pediatric oral healthcare quality measures. Journal of Public Health Dentistry 75(3):191–201.
  4. Glassman P. 2014. Interprofessional practice in the era of accountability. Journal of the California Dental Association 42(9):645–651.
  5. Sischo L, Broder HL. 2011. Oral health-related quality of life: What, why, how, and future implications. Journal of Dental Research 90(11):1264–1270.
  6. Wener ME, Schönwetter DJ, Mazurat N. 2011. Developing new dental communication skills assessment tools by including patients and other stakeholders. Journal of Dental Education 75(12):1527–1541.
  7. Meropol SB, Schlitz NK, Sattar A, Stange KC, Nevar AH, Davey C, Ferretti GA, Howell DE, Strosaker R, Vavrek P, Bader S, Ruhe MC, Cuttier L. 2014. Practice-tailored facilitation to improve pediatric preventive care delivery: A randomized trial. Pediatrics 133(6):e1664–1675.

OHRC Publications

This section contains OHRC-produced materials.


Details

Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors and National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center. 2011. Strategies to improve collaboration between state oral health programs and Head Start state collaboration offices. Sparks, NV: Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors; Washington, DC: National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, 4 pp

National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
Georgetown University Box 571272
Washington, DC 20057-1272

Telephone: (202) 784-9771
E-mail: OHRCinfo@georgetown.edu
Website: https://www.mchoralhealth.org
Available from the website.

This tip sheet is designed to assist state oral health program (SOHP) and the Head Start state collaboration office (HSSCO) directors and staff in enhancing collaboration with one another. It discusses how the relationship between SOHPs and HSSCOs has developed to date and outcomes of collaboration. It also provides recommendations for further collaboration. [Funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau]


Details

Barzel R, Holt K, with the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors' Fluorides Committee. 2010. Fluoride varnish: An effective tool for preventing dental caries. Washington, DC: National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, 4 pp

National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
Georgetown University Box 571272
Washington, DC 20057-1272

Telephone: (202) 784-9771
E-mail: OHRCinfo@georgetown.edu
Website: https://www.mchoralhealth.org
Available from the website.

This fact sheet provides information about fluoride varnish and its uses, effectiveness, safety, service delivery, and reimbursement for health professionals and oral health professionals. [Funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau]


Details

Bertness J, Holt K, eds. 2016. Fluoride varnish: A resource guide (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, 22 pp

National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
Georgetown University Box 571272
Washington, DC 20057-1272

Telephone: (202) 784-9771
E-mail: OHRCinfo@georgetown.edu
Website: https://www.mchoralhealth.org
Available from the website.

This guide provides an annotated list of resources on the use and application of fluoride varnish, including materials on data and surveillance; policy; professional education, tools, and training; public education; and state and local program reports. The guide also lists federal agencies, national professional associations, resource centers, and national coalitions that may serve as resources. [Funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau]


Details

National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center. 2017. Dental sealants: A resource guide (4th ed.). Washington, DC: National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, 20 pp

National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
Georgetown University Box 571272
Washington, DC 20057-1272

Telephone: (202) 784-9771
E-mail: OHRCinfo@georgetown.edu
Website: https://www.mchoralhealth.org
Available from the website.

This resource guide provides information to health professionals about the use and application of dental sealants. The first section describes materials, such as brochures, fact sheets, guidelines, curricula, and reports. The second section lists federal agencies, national professional associations, and resource centers that may serve as resources. [Funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau]

     


OHRC Library

This section contains recent materials, not including OHRC-produced materials.


Details

Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors. 2015. MCH Title V national performance measure for oral health. Reno, NV: Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors, 7 pp

Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors
3858 Cashill Boulevard
Reno, NV 89509

Telephone: (775) 626-5008
Fax: (775) 626-9268
E-mail: info@astdd.org
Website: http://www.astdd.org
Available from the website.

This document summarizes changes to the Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant application, needs assessment, and reporting process and resulting opportunities to promote oral health in states. The document describes two national performance measures for oral health, a national outcome measure for oral health, and recommended strategies for action. State performance measures are also discussed.


Details

Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors, Children's Dental Health Project, and DentaQuest Foundation. 2016. Improving oral health measurement systems: Stakeholder feedback project summary report. Washington, DC: Children's Dental Health Project, 16 pp

Children's Dental Health Project
1020 19th Street, N.W., Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036

Telephone: (202) 833-8288
Fax: (202) 331-1432
E-mail: info@cdhp.org
Website: https://www.cdhp.org
Available from the website.

This report describes a project to enlist the advice of advocacy and health professional groups on ways data can help improve the nation's oral health. The report also summarizes recommendations for collecting oral health data on the U.S. population. Contents include background; information about the project process, including participant feedback on the methods and outcomes; and next steps for improving health-measurement systems. A matrix of key oral health measures across the lifespan and a list of participating organizations are also included.


Details

Chazin S, Maul A. 2015. Moving from goal to impact: A quality improvement approach to advancing children's oral health in Medicaid. Hamilton, NJ: Center for Health Care Strategies, 12 pp

Center for Health Care Strategies
200 American Metro Boulevard, Suite 119
Hamilton, NJ 08619

Telephone: (609) 528-8400
Fax: (609) 586-3679
E-mail:
Website: http://www.chcs.org
Available from the website.

This brief for states describes a stepwise approach to meeting goals for improving use of oral health services improvement for children enrolled in Medicaid. It describes critical elements of the strategic-planning process, drawing from state experiences. A template that Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Programs can use to create a state oral health action plan is included.


Details

DentaQuest Institute. 2014. Report of the National Oral Health Quality Improvement Committee: A vision for the U.S. oral health system for 2023. Westborough, MA: DentaQuest Institute, 15 pp

DentaQuest Institute
2400 Computer Drive
Westborough, MA 01581

Telephone: (508) 329-2280
Secondary Telephone: (508) 329-2250
E-mail: info@dentaquestinstitute.org
Website: https://www.dentaquestinstitute.org
Available from the website.

This report presents a vision for the oral health system and recommended strategies to realize that vision. Contents include five principles and a description of nine characteristics of the oral health system in 2023. In addition, the report lays out seven implementation strategies that can be accomplished in a 3-year period. Topics include coverage, disease management, health promotion, community-based oral health delivery, payment, consumer empowerment, and accountable care.


Details

Snyder A. 2015. Oral health and the Triple Aim: Evidence and strategies to improve care and reduce costs. Portland, ME: National Academy for State Health Policy, 14 pp

National Academy for State Health Policy
10 Free Street, Second Floor
Portland, ME 04101

Telephone: (207) 874-6524
Secondary Telephone: (202) 903-0101
Fax: (207) 874-6527
E-mail: info@nashp.org
Website: http://www.nashp.org
Available from the website.

This brief describes research on oral-systemic linkages, state-level experiences with incorporating oral health into reform strategies, and promising local examples. In addition, the brief describes next steps for states wishing to incorporate an oral health strategy into their reform efforts. A companion toolkit is also available.

     

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