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ADA venture seeking to become go-to resource for clinical data

2018 resolution urged Board of Trustees to prioritize establishment of registry

August 11, 2020

By David Burger

The ADA Dental Experience and Research Exchange is on track to satisfy its aim of becoming a clinical data registry for the benefit of dentistry.

In October 2018, the ADA House of Delegates approved a resolution to position the Association as a leading source of comprehensive data to support patient care, treatment guidelines, development of health policy, medical necessity rules and to define population health and quality of care. To achieve this, Resolution 25H-2018 urged the Board of Trustees to prioritize the establishment of a clinical data registry, now officially known as the ADA Dental Experience and Research Exchange.

To that end, in August, Open Dental became the first practice management software company to participate in the initiative, which seeks to promote excellence in dental care by helping dentists improve the treatment and outcomes of patient care.

 Image of Randall Markarian
Dr. Markarian
Dr. Randall Markarian, chair of the ADA Council on Dental Benefit Programs and a member of the ADA Clinical Data Warehouse Technical Advisory Committee, touted the initiative’s goals and the collaboration with Open Dental.

“This data can make a difference to their practices and their patients,” Dr. Markarian said. “By being the first practice management software company to participate in this novel concept by facilitating the flow of data, Open Dental will be helping the dental profession advance its clinical evidence base.”

“Open Dental is proud to be able to work with the ADA and the dental community on this project,” said Nathan Sparks, CEO of Open Dental. “We believe that allowing many dentists from many different areas to provide clinical patient data to a central repository will empower dentists to be able to demonstrate clinical outcomes on a new scale.  Not only will trends become more visible, but we hope that the measured outcomes will be able to provide guidance on treatment efficacy.”

The registry initiative, under the purview of the ADA’s Council on Dental Benefit Programs, is led by a Technical Advisory Committee of informatics experts and current and former leaders of the Council on Dental Benefit Programs, including Dr. Amit Acharya, executive director, Marshfield Clinical Research Institute; Dr. Christopher Bulnes, past chair of the council; Dr. Kevin Dens of the council; Dr. Mark Jurkovich, director of data infrastructure, Health Care Systems Research Network; Dr. Mark Mihalo, past member of the council; Dr. Markarian; Dr. Thankam Thyvalikakath, director of dental informatics, Indiana University School of Dentistry; Dr. Muhammad F. Walji, associate dean, technology services and informatics, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Dentistry; and Dr. Hope Watson, vice chair of the council.

“The committee is tasked with guiding the vision and requirements of the registry,” said Dr. Markarian. “This includes identifying a set of measures and reports that can be generated to meaningfully demonstrate the utility of this endeavor.”

The ADA Dental Experience and Research Exchange is currently in development. Open enrollment for interested practices is expected to begin in 2021.