Universities use technology to improve clinical, academic operations

November 18th, 2013

University administrators may want to consider investing in dental hygiene academic software tools to both improve operational practices and prepare students for lifelong careers in oral health.

The use of advanced technology has shown clear benefits for private practice clinics. Internal management systems that leverage electronic health records make it easier for dentists and dental hygienists to create, manage and share patient information among departments, previous providers and other organizations in a large enterprise network. As a result, many of these organizations are able to operate more efficiently and with limited overhead costs.

However, these benefits are no longer limited to private practices. In fact, dynamic software tools can have similarly positive impacts for oral health programs at universities around the nation. Technology may even allow faculty and staff to improve course requirements to better prepare students to continue learning and improve their craft all throughout their professional careers.

Improving clinical operations
Many dental hygiene universities run active clinics in addition to their academic programs. However, according to the daily newspaper The Sacramento Bee, many of these oral health care providers have experienced dwindling patient numbers in recent years. For example, the newspaper cited data from the National Center for Health Statistics that found only 61.6 percent of adults between the ages 18 and 64 visited a dentist in 2011. That number is 4 percent lower than it was in 1997 among the same demographic.

One of the most consistently effective ways for both academic and private practice clinics to improve patient retention rates is to deliver a more satisfying in-chair experience. The Sacramento Bee said a large number of Americans simply don't enjoy going to the dentist. A report published in RDH Magazine, a dental hygiene publication, said improvements in patient-focused care have the potential to encourage more people to see oral health care providers on a regular basis. With high-quality dental hygiene school software, students and professionals at university clinics can gather and share more targeted data that may ultimately lead to more effective treatment for individuals.

Fostering student confidence
Technology also has the ability to improve the classroom experience at many universities. For instance, a separate article in RDH Magazine said today's academic institutions have benefited from staying on top of the latest industry developments and trends. Rather than graduating from programs with merely a base knowledge of proper dental hygiene practices, students now enter the professional workforce with a heightened level of confidence. RDH said oral health care professionals will always continue to learn from their real-world experiences on the job. However, experience with advanced dental software can lead to a greater understanding of new problems facing the industry. Such tools also make it easier for universities to integrate dental hygiene programs with medical schools and other departments. More than ever before, oral health has taken a central role in the primary care process. As a result, universities must equip their operations with the right software that enables interdisciplinary learning. 

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