The majority of primary care physicians support integration of children’s oral health promotion and disease prevention into their practices but can experience challenges integrating oral health services into their workflow. Most electronic health records (EHRs) in primary care settings do not include oral health information for pediatric patients. Therefore, it is important to understand providers’ preferences for oral health information within the EHR. The objectives of this study are to assess (1) the relative importance of various elements of pediatric oral health information for primary care providers to have in the EHR and (2) the extent to which practice and provider characteristics are associated with these information preferences.
We surveyed a sample of primary care physicians who conducted Medicaid well-child visits in North Carolina from August – December 2013. Using descriptive statistics, we analyzed primary care physicians’ oral health information preferences relative to their information preferences for traditional preventive aspects of well-child visits. Furthermore, we analyzed associations between oral health information preferences and provider- and practice-level characteristics using an ordinary least squares regression model.
Fewer primary care providers reported that pediatric oral health information is “very important,” as compared to more traditional elements of primary care information, such as tracking immunizations. However, the majority of respondents reported some elements of oral health information as being very important. Also, we found positive associations between the percentage of well child visits in which oral health screenings and oral health referrals are performed and the reported importance of having pediatric oral health information in the EHR.
Incorporating oral health information into the EHR may be desirable for providers, particularly those who perform oral health screenings and dental referrals.
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- Providers’ preferences for pediatric oral health information in the electronic health record: a cross-sectional survey
Christopher M. Shea
B. Alex White
R. Gary Rozier
- BioMed Central
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