HSDM’s Kalenderian Receives NIH R01 Award

While medicine has long made use of standardized terminologies such as CD 9 codes to record diagnoses, dentistry has not enjoyed the presence of a widely used set of standardized dental diagnostic terms. In 2009, 21 dental schools using the same electronic health record software system developed a standardized dental diagnostic terminology, EZCodes. EZCodes are currently implemented in 14 dental schools, with more than 3,100 dental academic providers using this terminology during more than 1 million patient visits annually. Elsbeth Kalenderian, DDS, MPH, PhD, chair of the HSDM Department of Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology, and colleagues recently received an R01 grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research of the National Institutes of Health for their study, "A Whole Systems Approach to Implementing Standardized Dental Diagnostic Terms." In this study, the researchers will implement EZCodes within a 54-office dental group in Oregon. They will create an Implementation Toolkit (EZ-IT), determine the impact of the EZ-IT on the attitudes of dental providers and the diagnosis-orientation of the culture of the organization, and determine the impact of the program on utilization rates and valid entry of diagnostic terms.

Collaborators for this study include Rachel Ramoni, DMD, DSc, Harvard School of Dental Medicine and Harvard Medical School; Muhammad Walji, PhD, University of Texas, Houston; Lyle McClullen, DDS, Willamette Dental Group; Trisha Greenhalgh, MD, Blizard Institute, Barts and London School of Medicine and Dentistry; Allen Frankel, MD, Pascal Metrics; Peter A. Blanchard, DDS, MBA, DentaQuest; Joel White, DMD, University of California, San Francisco; and Amy Paxson, VoxMarketing.