IHE Press Release: Adding dental exams to health records provides complete patient profile for caregivers

26 April 2011 -- Including radiology images and radiation dose exposure reports from dental visits to a patient's health record provides caregivers with a more complete picture before deciding on a course of treatment.

But dental offices today are not capable of sharing records with each other, and are not capable of adding data compatible with electronic health records, according to Gregg Zeller, D.D.S. and M.S., Senior Director of the Research & Laboratories Division of the American Dental Association (ADA) during a presentation at the IHE-Europe Connectathon.

The creation of a new IHE Dental Domain, sponsored by the ADA, is expected to change this situation rapidly with two new IHE Integration Profiles ready for testing at the European Connectathon as early as April, 2013.

National standards developed by ADA are used by manufacturers, research institutions and are often adopted as international standards or used by regulatory agencies in evaluating products for clearance to market to the dental profession or consumers.

The kick-off meeting for the IHE Dental Domain took place in February, 2011 and the joint Technical and Planning Committees are currently deciding on the first two IHE Integration Profiles to be developed.

These new protocols for creating interoperability in dental records will benefit from IHE profiles already established for other medical practices, Zeller said.

Yet the workflow for activities such as scheduling or order entry, and issues surrounding the secure exchange of patient data, are unique to dental practice and require the creation of a new IHE domain.

Two-thirds of dentists are independent practitioners in stand-alone centers that do not typically communicate with other centers and use closed information systems with proprietary data standards.

"Bringing interoperability to the Dental domain will prove to be as complex as the work IHE has undertaken bringing interoperability to the hospital domain," said Zeller.

For more information about IHE-Europe please visit:

About IHE-Europe

IHE-Europe is the European organisation of the international IHE organisation. ‘Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise’ (IHE) is a joint initiative of healthcare professionals and industry to improve the way computer systems in healthcare share information. IHE promotes the coordinated use of established standards such as DICOM, XML and HL7 to address specific clinical needs in support of optimal patient care. Systems developed in accordance with IHE specifications communicate with one another better, are easier to implement, and enable care providers to use information more effectively.

About ADA The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing more than 156,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit the Association's Web site at

Press contacts:

Lydia Hall American Dental Association Division of Communications Tel: +1 312 440 2841

Marie-Astrid Libert Communications IHE-Europe Tel: +32 (2) 706 89 60

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