A common challenge that all of my colleagues and I face is to make sure that our patients’ medical and pharmacology histories are up to date and accurate. This is important because many of the common services offered by dentists are surgical in nature. And any surgery must be performed with exact information in hand.
But actually, I have found that this challenge extends beyond the dentist to the whole office staff. To practice safely the entire clinical team within the dental office needs to be aware that patient X’s history may warrant increased attention. It may require modifying a standard treatment regimen. With your whole staff on board, the impact of a potential adverse event is minimized.
What are possible consequences of not having a current medical history?
- Uncontrolled bleeding
- Physiologic or metabolic crisis
- Adverse drug action, reaction or interaction
Can these consequences be serious? Yes.
Is it time consuming to make sure the history is current and understood? Yes.
Is there a way to reduce fifteen minutes or more of staff time to less than one minute and at the same time allow you to practice with less stress? Yes.
While patients may not realize the seriousness of the issue, not knowing their current medical information can be positively hazardous. At any given time I have several patients that have had a prosthetic joint replacement, creating a potential for bacteria to cause an infection in the joint if they undergo certain dental care. It is crucial to be able to keep patient records up to date and easy to access, so that antibiotics can be prescribed when they are necessary.
But not just any method of collecting and updating patient history will do.
About a decade ago I realized that the available software just did not make tracking patient health easy. This is where the basic premise of Dental Symphony was conceived. My team and I then developed ePatient’s Point of Care Center, which analyzes the patient’s health history. If the patient has had a joint replacement, it will highlight for me when it was put in place, any allergies to antibiotics that the patient has, along with other pertinent information to ensure the best possible care.
When considering going paperless with an online patient registration system look for one that will actually help you and your staff take safe care of your patients by automatically addressing the four concerns listed above.