675 Electronic Dental Record Use in The Dental Practice-based Research Network

Friday, March 23, 2012: 8 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Presentation Type: Oral Session
M. SONG1, T. SCHLEYER1, D.B. RINDAL2, J.L. FELLOWS3, V.V. GORDAN4, G.H. GILBERT5, and T. DPBRN COLLABORATIVE GROUP6, 1School of Dental Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 2Research Foundation, HealthPartners, Minneapolis, MN, 3Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Portland, OR, 4College of Dentistry, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 5Dept. of General Dental Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, 6University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL

Objectives: Determine: (1) the extent dentists use computers to manage clinical information; (2) what patient information they keep on the computer; and (3) whether they would be willing to re-use electronic dental record (EDR) data for research.   

Methods: The Dental Practice-Based Research Network (DPBRN; www.DentalPBRN.org) comprises dental practices in the U.S. and Scandinavia. 991 eligible practitioner-investigators were invited to complete a Web-based survey. A paper version was sent to those who did not respond online. Data were combined with DPBRN Enrollment Questionnaire to obtain dentist and practice characteristics.

Results: 729 practitioner-investigators completed the survey (74% response). Most respondents (79%) used computers to manage clinical information. US solo and group practices did not differ in the use of computer (p=0.22), but the difference was significant between US (79%) and Scandinavian (92%) group practices (p<0.05). Four EDR systems were used in 71% of practices in the U.S.: Dentrix (35%), Eaglesoft (20%), SoftDent (7%) and PracticeWorks (8%). Subgroups differed significantly in recording clinical information on the computer (p<0.05 for all 13 information categories). In the U.S., appointments, treatment plans and completed treatment are mostly stored on the computer in solo and group practices; progress notes and chief complaint are the least stored. In contrast, over 90% of Scandinavian dentists stored all information on the computer. Fifty-one percent of all respondents were willing to re-use EDR data for research and 63% preferred electronic forms for data collection. Computer use was significantly associated with intention to use electronic means for research in US solo practices (p<0.05), but not in group practices.    

Conclusions: Most DPBRN practitioner-investigators use computers to manage clinical information, with significant differences in the types of information kept on the computer across practice types. Half of practitioner-investigators are interested in re-using EDR data for research, while some have reservations. Support: U01-DE-16746, U01-DE-16747.

This abstract is based on research that was funded entirely or partially by an outside source: NIH U01-DE-16746, NIH U01-DE-16747

Keywords: Computers and PBRN research
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