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Making the Dental EHR Meaningful

As a clinical terminology designed for use with EHRs, SNODENT enables the capture, aggregation, and analysis of detailed oral health data.  SNODENT is also an internationally recognized subset of SNOMED-CT; SNODENT codes are embedded in SNOMED-CT. To an observer, or an EHR, SNODENT and SNOMED codes look and behave exactly the same. In addition, SNOMED-CT is a named clinical terminology required as a certification criterion for EHRs used in connection with Stage 2 of the U.S. government’s HITECH Meaningful Use Incentives program. EHR systems that have certified under Meaning Use Stage 2 criteria can already support use of SNOMED-CT. SNOMED-CT is also an HL7-recognized terminology for use with HL7 Clinical Document templates, such as the Continuing Care Document.

Comprehensive Content for Data Recording, Retrieval and Reporting

SNODENT’s granularity enables clinicians, academics, and researchers to record finely detailed oral health data in a semantically interoperable manner that, when used in combination with standard clinical documents such as those advanced by HL7, can transcend geography, platforms, and care settings.  Many oral anatomical sites, oral health conditions, findings, and other clinical concepts unique to the concerns of dentistry may be found only within the SNODENT lexicon.

Delivering Benefits With SNODENT

As SNOMED-CT is a recognized code set for EHR certification, its subset SNODENT is the best choice for a clinical vocabulary in dental EHRs.

Eligible dental schools and practitioners who participate in Medicare and/or Medicaid may be required to use SNODENT as SNOMED-CT is the required terminology for certified EHRs.

Other potential benefits of using SNODENT include: possibility of better communication among dentists and other health care providers; improved patient care through evidence-based practices; enhanced data collection to evaluate oral care outcomes and to address more complex issues; better, more granular data for research to support evidence based practice; enhancement of public health investigation and reporting; and, finally, greater capability to measure adherence to standards of care.

Regular Updates

Terminologies need to reflect healthcare advances and introduction of new treatments. A timely release of the SNODENT code set (every six months) will provide important benefits for users and help them keep pace with  any changes. The updates through each release may also refine logical relationships between concepts, may retire concepts or introduce new ones.

SNODENT releases coincide with the SNOMED CT releases in January and July respectively.