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    9 questions to ask about EHR

    Should your practice enter the world of EHR? You should consider these things before you take the plunge.



    3. “Does the system have structured data?”

    Electronic health records are about more than just creating a paperless practice: it’s about using patient data more effectively. 

    “In dentistry, we are getting to the point where we can input data into the computer and do something with it,” Uretz says. “When a dentist does an exam or procedure, they can take that information and put it into a database. It’s searchable, so you can pull up critical information at any point on patients and procedures for many uses, including clinical decision making. It’s called ‘structured data’—the ability to enter clinical information about patients in a structured format and save it to a database so it can be used later.” 

    Trending article: How dental EHRs can streamline referral processes

    Structured data provides additional benefits to group practices as well. 

    “There are many ways for dentists to do exams and procedures, which could potentially be a problem when it comes to managing group practices,” Uretz says. “So a benefit is having the ability to standardize care throughout the group and locations. Especially for new doctors coming out of dental school and going into a group practice, it’s a great way to make sure everyone is on the same page. It helps create efficiency in patient care.” 

    Next: Will the system simplify accountable care?



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