DCSIMG
Header Logo Band

Federal grant helps dental school grads provide care for underserved in Alabama

A federal grant is helping recent dental school graduates pay down their loans in exchange for treating Medicaid patients in some of the most underserved parts of Alabama, according to Action for Dental Health.

Action for Dental HealthThe program is a collaborative effort between the Alabama Dental Association and the University of Alabama School of Dentistry, which received the three-year federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in 2013, according to Dr. Allen Conan Davis, who serves as a principal in managing the grant and is the assistant dean for community collaborations and public health at the dental school.

“The school of dentistry and the association have had a great relationship, because we’ve had a mutual interest in addressing access to care issues,” said Dr. Davis. “I think that relationship helped us secure the HRSA grant.”

A total of nine dental graduates – three each year – receive $100,000 apiece to pay down loans if they devote 30 percent of their practices to Medicaid patients and agree to stay in their communities for at least four years.

Six graduates were placed in dentally underserved areas in Alabama by the end of 2014, said Dr. Davis. Three more are expected to take part in the program this year.

To read the full story, click here.

Action for Dental Health, launched by the ADA, is a nationwide, community-based movement aimed at ending dental health crisis facing America today. To learn more, click here.

FDA approves new hydrocodone product that’s hard to abuse

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved an extended-release hydrocodone product with properties that can reduce abuse of the drug, according to ADA News.

Hysingla ER (hydrocodone bitartrate) is an opioid analgesic that can treat pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock-long-term use. The tablet is difficult to crush, break or dissolve and it also forms a thick gel and cannot be easily prepared for injection. Because of those characteristics, the FDA has determined it would be difficult to abuse the drug.

“While the science of abuse deterrence is still evolving, the development of opioids that are harder to abuse is helpful in addressing the public health crisis of prescription drug abuse in the U.S.,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Preventing prescription opioid abuse is a top public health priority for the FDA and encouraging the development of opioids with abuse-deterrent properties is just one component of a broader approach to reducing abuse and misuse and will better enable the agency to balance addressing this problem with ensuring that patients have access to appropriate treatments for pain.”

To read the full story, click here.

Have you used hydrocodone products in your practice?

New Dentist Committee meets in Chicago

The New Dentist Committee held their first meeting of the year today at ADA Headquarters to discuss a variety of topics including NDC priorities, networking and leadership, engagement and outreach and new dentist issues.

The meeting, set to continue Jan. 31, also included a tour of the new ADA Video Studio, along with receiving reports from ADA staff on the ADA Strategic Plan, the Diversity and Inclusion Plan and dental school programs and strategies.

The Committee is an ADA volunteer agency comprised of 17 volunteers representing the ADA districts, serving four-year terms. All members must have graduated from dental school less than 10 years ago at his/her term start. The New Dentist Committee serves as the voice of the new dentist. As a committee of the Board, their primary purpose is to advise the Board of Trustees on matters relating to new dentists. They also review and advise the Board on member benefits and the member experience from a new dentist perspective as well as on policy affecting new dentists. The Board recently approved a charter for the New Dentist Committee that more clearly defines its responsibilities.

For more information on the New Dentist Committee, how to contact your representatives or to get involved, click here.

Here are some photos from their meeting during a strategic discussion on evaluating ADA member benefits:

(Left) Dr. Michael LeBlanc, NDC chair, and Dr. Chris Hasty, NDC vice-chair

(Left) Dr. Michael LeBlanc, NDC chair and District 12, and Dr. Chris Hasty, NDC vice-chair and District 5

Drs. Andrea Janik and Eric Childs

Drs. Andrea Janik, District 15, and Eric Childs, District 9

Dr. Martin Smallidge, District 4

Dr. Martin Smallidge, District 4

Dr. Lindsay Yates

Dr. Lindsay Yates

New Dentist Committee

 

Are you interested in learning about the different types of group practices?

Learn more about the different types of group practices in videos posted on the ADA Center for Professional Success website.

Center for Professional SuccessDentists from three different practice group models spoke at ADA 2014 — America’s Dental Meeting in San Antonio about their organization’s structure, management, patient care and more. In 2014, the ADA Health Policy Institute proposed a classification system for group practices and a nomenclature that would more specifically describe them.

The videos include presentations on group practices that are dentist-owned and operated; affiliated with a dental management organization affiliated; insurer-provider; not-for-profit; and government agencies.

The presentations are available here.

Participating in 2015 GKAS? Share your photos

The 2015 Give Kids A Smile Day is Feb. 6, and program coordinators nationwide should have their digital cameras ready to capture the highlights of the event.

The ADA News welcomes digital photo submissions from GKAS program participants — including candid pictures of children, dentists and team members interacting and clinical photos (patients in the chair, dental team in gloves, masks and protective eyewear). Be sure to include identification of those pictured and facts about your event.

Send high-resolution photos for consideration for use in the ADA News in print and online to adanews@ada.org as soon as possible following your event.

GKAS photosProgram coordinators can also post photos on the new ADA GKAS Facebook page (http://facebook.com/GiveKidsASmile). Clinical photos submitted for the site should also show dental professionals using universal precautions.

With GKAS Day just a couple of weeks away, a total of 1,324 GKAS events have registered, and estimate they will treat nearly 320,000 children on or around Feb. 6. Nearly 8,000 dentists and almost 25,000 other dental team members and lay volunteers will be providing care to kids in need through GKAS programs.

Programs are encouraged to register if they haven’t done so yet — either before or after their events, and all program coordinators/dentist participants are asked to report their actual program totals following their events.

Log on to givekidsasmile.ada.org. GKAS corporate sponsors continue to generously support the program. Henry Schein Dental will provide professional dental kits containing gloves, patient bibs and bib holders, masks, plastic cups, tongue depressors, gauze pads, prophy angles and past, fluoride varnish and chair sleeves. Colgate Palmolive Co. has donated toothbrushes and toothpaste. DEXIS Digital X-ray Systems will donate the use of their X-ray units and the expertise of their staff to U.S. dental schools requesting assistance, state associations and large group practices during GKAS.

Can you sing or play an instrument?

The Medical Musical Group chorale and symphony orchestra are seeking health care professionals, students and family members who sing or play musical instruments.

MMG’s 2015 schedule includes a Nov. 1 concert in Washington, D.C., followed by a trip to England and Scotland, with a major concert Nov. 7 at London’s Central Hall Westminster. To view some of their performances, go to YouTube.com and search for “Medical Musical Group.” For more information, Call 1.202.797.0700, visit medicalmusical.org or email vanmmg@hotmail.com.

Learn how to identify drug-seeking patients in upcoming webinar

An upcoming webinar aims to educate dentists on how to interview patients with addiction problems and identify those who are just seeking drugs.

prescription drugsInterviewing and Counseling Patients with Substance Use Disorders and Drug-Seeking Patients is scheduled for Feb. 18 from 2-3 p.m. Central time. Michael O’Neil, Pharm.D., professor of pharmacy practice at South College in Knoxville, Tennessee, will lead the webinar and review basic interview and counseling skills that help optimize patient care and protect dentists from patients who may have criminal intent.

Dentists may find themselves the targets of prescription drug diversion scams and schemes and the webinar will provide tips on how to talk to patients about their intentions and counseling that will help minimize risks to the patient and dentist.

To register, contact Alison Siwek at siweka@ada.org. Registration closes Feb. 16.

Integrating checklists into your practice is key to get things right

Time outs are performed minutes before a procedure begins. In dentistry, this is commonly done before an extraction or a root canal. Do I have the right patient? Is the correct radiograph displayed? Is the necessary equipment present? Do I know which tooth? How often do we breeze through this checklist or not read it at all?

Dr. Carolyn Norton

Dr. Carolyn Norton

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande shows how checklists which identify critical steps or points of failure can make up for our own human inadequacies. Checklists don’t stop at the example above. As the volume of dental procedures I preform increases every day, I have developed my own mental checklists to make sure I’m working efficiently and producing quality dentistry. Even your morning huddle is a checklist.

In 2001, a central line placement checklist was implemented at Johns Hopkins Hospital by critical care specialist Peter Pronovost. Nurses were allowed to intervene if they saw a doctor not following the checklist. After two years of data collection, the central line infection rate went from 11 percent to zero. Dr. Pronovost found that checklists, “establish a higher standard of baseline performance, help with memory recall, and set the minimum necessary steps in a process.”

When the World Health Organization (WHO) contacted Gawande in 2006 to help create a solution to prevent death and/or harm in surgery throughout the world with no funding, Gawande went to visit a master of checklists, Daniel Boorman from the Boeing Company. Aviation heavily relies on checklists. “Only 1 in 500,000 flights ever suffers an accident of any kind.” Was your last flight delayed for 45 minutes due to maintenance? Someone was using a checklist.

Mr. Boorman says checklists must be “precise and to the point. They do not try to spell out everything — a checklist cannot fly a plane.” He suggests keeping the list between five and nine items. It should take no more than 60 to 90 seconds to run the list. “You must define a clear pause point at which the checklist is supposed to be used.” My favorite part of this book: a checklist for making checklists is provided in the appendix.

Dr. Gawande’s WHO safe surgery checklist included seven checks before anesthesia, seven checks before the first incision, and five checks before removing the patient from the operatory. The effect of their safe surgery checklist was studied in eight hospitals around the world. In every hospital, complication rates fell 36 percent and deaths fell 47 percent. Seventy eight percent of hospital staff “actually observed the checklist to have prevented an error in the operating room.” When asked if they wanted the checklist used if they were to have surgery, 93 percent of hospital staff said “yes.”

After reading Dr. Gawande’s book I see checklists all around me, and I believe they work. No one is perfect, and checklists are great tools to help even doctors to get things right. “The volume and complexity of what we know has exceeded our individual ability to deliver its benefits correctly, safely, or reliably. Knowledge has both saved us and burdened us.”

How do you use checklists in your dental practice? Share your best ideas and checklists with us below.

 

Dr. Carolyn Norton is a New Dentist Now guest blogger and a 2014 graduate of the University of Florida College of Dentistry. She is half way through a 12-month general practice residency at the North Shore University Hospital in Evanston, Ill., affiliated with the University of Chicago. Dr. Norton was a contributing editor for the American Student Dental Association from 2012-14.

 

Dental spending growth slower

According to ADA News, government actuaries cited slower growth in dental spending than projected just three months earlier in a study revising the post-recession National Health Expenditures narrative from “low rates of growth” to “slowdown.”

Annual growth of dental servicesThe 3.6 percent increase in the 2013 rate of growth in the overall health economy is the lowest on record since NHE record keeping began in 1960, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of the Actuary said.

CMS actuaries in a September 2014 report had projected that 2013 dental spending would total $113 billion at a 1.9 percent annual growth rate. The study published in December 2014 by the journal Health Affairs said actual dental spending increased by just 0.9 percent to $111 billion.

Dental services spendingDental spending and the annual growth rate had been inching upward since 2009 when it increased minimally from $102.4 billion to $102.5 billion or 0.1 percent over 2008. The 2013 growth rate is the lowest since then.

To read the full article, click here.

IHS dental externship applications due Feb. 28

For dental students wondering whether a career with the Indian Health Service Division of Oral Health or a position at a specific IHS or Tribal site is right for you, an IHS externship can give you the experience to help make your decision.

IHSThe IHS Division of Oral Health (DOH) is currently accepting applications for 2015 Dental Externships. If you are seeking a life-changing cultural and pre-professional experience, we encourage you to apply. The application cycle is open from Jan. 2 to Feb. 28.

According to IHS.gov, externs will have the opportunities to work in the state-of-the-art facilities, in a career position with excellent pay and benefits, Loan Repayment Program, job stability, potential for advancement and mentoring by experienced staff, and the opportunity to provide much-needed care to appreciative patients.

For more information on IHS dental externships and how to apply, click here.