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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Health Information Technology

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Oral Health IT Toolbox

Oral health care is an important component of overall health and wellness. There is a growing recognition about the importance of integrating oral health and primary care. The use of health information technology (health IT) provides an unprecedented opportunity to enhance the intersection of oral health and primary care. The goal of this toolbox module is to provide stakeholders with information, tools, and resources regarding oral health and health IT. The module seeks to illustrate:

  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) oral health priorities;
  • The importance of oral health in the safety net;
  • Integration of oral health primary care through health IT;
  • Health IT and facilitation of the delivery of high quality oral health care; and
  • Meaningful Use and its applications to oral health providers, including primary care providers delivering preventive oral health care.

Health IT offers the potential to expand and improve quality and access to care, enhance reporting and accountability, engage patients in their own care, and enhance care coordination among providers including linkages with primary health care. Government support for health IT has been significantly enhanced with the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and its Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), including incentives for the adoption and Meaningful Use of electronic health records.  New Federal incentives created by HITECH are specifically designed to encourage dentists and other health care providers to adopt and use health IT for electronic data capture and health information exchange (HIE) in meaningful ways. Furthermore, HITECH provides an opportunity for dentists to adopt and meaningfully use health IT/HIE with financial support from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

This module is organized into four sections: 

Each section contains numerous questions for which responses are provided and resources are highlighted that may help respond to the question being posed. In addition to citing resources throughout the text, additional resources are highlighted at the end of a section. Throughout the Module, we note where certain topics are discussed in more detail in another of the HRSA Toolkits or Modules. In these cases, a link is included that takes you to another Toolkit/Module, which will be noted within the text.

We hope you enjoy this Module on Oral Health and Health IT.

Developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration as a resource for health centers and other safety net and ambulatory care providers who are seeking to implement health IT.
Health Information Technology Toolboxes help health centers, safety net providers, and ambulatory care providers with electronic and online resources and technical assistance to improve patient care.  More>
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