Dental academic software plays a unique role in helping universities better educate students to handle tomorrow's oral health care challenges.
Much has changed in the dentistry profession over the last several years. When President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law in 2010, he signaled a new era of focusing on efficiency and the expansion of insurance coverage to more U.S. citizens. These goals haven't come without their own growing pains, however. According to Oral Health America, a nonprofit organization based in Chicago, the recent focus on national health care reform has highlighted specific challenges in the dental field.
In fact, a recent hearing run by the Senate Health committee in Washington, D.C., focused on preparing today's existing clinics and dental institutions to effectively provide care to more individuals.
"Unfortunately, in the midst of the discussion on health care in general, we have forgotten and paid very little attention to an element of health care that is enormously important to all Americans, and that is dental care and the fact that we have a major crisis in dental care," Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said at the hearing. "This is an issue that needs a whole lot of discussion. It gets pushed under the rug and it's time we brought it out into the sunlight."
As the PPACA continues to come into effect over the next several years, many states are already expanding Medicaid coverage to include dental care and other oral health procedures. A recent article published in The Seattle Times said Washington state will restore dental insurance for Medicaid patients on Jan. 1, 2014. The state legislature had previously eliminated dental coverage because of a fiscal crisis.
Eliminating growing pains with dental software
As more patients gain access to quality dental care, academic institutions must utilize advanced technology to prepare students to handle new challenges. Tools such as software for dental hygiene schools offer fully integrated systems through which educators can manage course curricula, grade exams and fully engage students throughout the entire process. Additionally, program participants can also gain hands-on experience using electronic health records and other advanced technological tools when sitting in on clinical procedures.
Adapting to a changing industry can be challenging for many private practices and universities that are used to operating in specific ways. However, dental software provides these organizations an easy-to-use platform that seamlessly integrates new technology and ultimately increases the quality of care patients receive.