Nearly 900 Dental Practices Complete Epic EHR Implementation

Pacific Dental Services launched an Epic EHR implementation at all of its dental practices in just over two years, converting more than 9.7 million patient records.

Pacific Dental Services (PDS) has successfully completed an Epic EHR implementation project across its roughly 900 supported dental practices.

In slightly over two years, PDS converted more than 9.7 million patient records from its existing practice management software to Epic. The dental support organization also spent nearly 16,000 hours on EHR training for almost 14,000 team members and clinicians.

"Whether the patients of PDS' supported practices go to the dentist's office, a clinic, or a hospital, their providers can now review their dental history along with the rest of their medical history from one record in Epic," said Judy Faulkner, Founder and CEO of Epic. "Our collaboration with PDS supports the connection between dental and medical care, creating a more comprehensive approach to health."

Implementing the Epic EHR will allow PDS to improve oral-systemic care, the press release stated.

"Oral healthcare is a critical component of overall health, and this investment has enabled our supported clinicians and their patients to more fully participate in the promise of a seamless, comprehensive healthcare system focused on whole-body health," said Stephen E. Thorne IV, founder, and CEO of Pacific Dental Services.

As a result of the implementation, PDS-supported clinicians can now digitally share important patient health information leading to closed gaps in care, reduced instances of duplicate health records, and improved care continuity for patients.

Epic will also allow patients to access their health information through Epic’s patient portal, MyChart. Patients can use MyChart to schedule appointments, pay bills online, and securely message their providers.

Additionally, the Epic deployment intends to improve the early identification of diseases, such as diabetes, based on gum and oral health changes, which can lead to stronger medical collaboration and improved patient outcomes.

As collaboration and coordination between medical and dental providers improve, patients will be more likely to perceive dentist visits are an essential component of overall healthcare.

Compartmentalized health data, where records are only accessible to providers on the same platform, was a significant challenge for PDS during the implementation process. To address this challenge, PDS worked with Epic to enhance and optimize Wisdom, Epic's dental module.

Almost immediately, PDS-supported dental professionals found that the integrated health records offered insight into overall patient health, resulting in more effective treatment plans.

“As the first DSO to join Epic’s One Virtual System Worldwide, Pacific Dental Services is uniquely positioned to improve oral systemic health for the populations they serve,” Epic Vice President of Population Health Alan Hutchison, said in a previous statement

Epic Systems is leading the way among EHR vendors as it is the most widely used system. In 2022, KLAS named the EHR vendor Epic as the top Overall Software Suite in its Best in KLAS 2022 report for the 12th consecutive year.

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