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EHR Activities at the ADA

American Dental AssociationCurrently, a significant opportunity exists for dentistry to shape the standards and technologies that it will use in the future, as well as define how they will be used. The ADA is taking a leadership role in defining dental EHR functions, features, and capabilities through its work in the standards arena and by providing its members with educational resources. In order to realize their full capabilities, dental EHRs will need a standard terminology for capturing detailed clinical data in a coded, structured manner. To this end, the ADA has developed an internationally recognized dental terminology for this purpose, the Systematized Nomenclature of Dentistry (SNODENT). Visit the ADA's SNODENT home page for details.

Leading In the Advancement of EHR Standards

The ADA has also been leading in the development of dental information technology standards via its ANSI-accredited Standards Committee for Dental Informatics (SCDI). The SCDI recently completed work on a new, ANSI-recognized national standard for Electronic Dental Record System Functional Requirements, ANSI/ADA Standard No.1067-2013. The work includes significant input from industry stakeholders and presents an organized "wish list" of dental EHR functions that integrates relevant medical EHR capabilities with the needs of dentists. ADA Standard No. 1067 does the following:

  • Describes end user-defined benefits such as patient safety, quality, outcomes and cost efficiencies in terms of standard functions;
  • Promotes a common understanding of dental EHR functions upon which system developers, vendors, users and other interested parties can plan and evaluate EHR functions, and
  • Provides a framework to drive the requirements and applications of next-level standards.

Other ANSI/ADA SCDI Standards and Technical Reports are listed here and may be purchased through the ADA catalog.

The ADA also participates at healthcare technology standards development organizations such as Health Level 7 (HL7), The International Standards Organization Technical Committee 215 (ISO TC 215) and its US Technical Advisory Group (US TAG), and the Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) standards organization. The ADA's involvement and participation in consensus-based standards activities with these organizations promotes harmonization of ADA technology standards products with national and international health information technology standards.

In addition, the ADA collaborates with independent health information technology certification organizations such as Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) and the Certification Commission on Health Information Technology (CCHIT). The goal of these collaborations is the creation of independent testing-based certification programs for dental information technologies like dental EHRs and imaging systems. A product with a testing-based certification assures purchasers and other users that a technology product meets a defined set of criteria for technological capability, functionality, interoperability and/or security. Dentists will then be able to use the certifications and their associated testing profile information when selecting information technology for their own facilities.

Publications

Electronic Prescription Standard for Dentistry: Standard for Dentistry, White Paper No. 1070 (PDF)
Prepared by ADA
Growth in electronic prescription capabilities is related to the development of electronic data standards, which provide pharmacies and health care entities with an accepted common format for data interchange. This standard will be a ‘continuous maintenance standard’, meaning that as the standard version changes, the current, approved version of the standard will be the SCDI recommended one. Read more (PDF).

Contact EHR

American Dental Association
Department of Dental Informatics
Phone: 312.440.2500
Email: EHR@ada.org
ADA business hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. U.S. Central Time.