CareOregon Dental's Oral Health Integration Project

by User Not Found | Mar 19, 2019

CareOregon Dental is partnering with its network of community health center providers to advance oral health integration and transform health care. In 2017, we worked with our partners to develop five unique, large-scale, two-year transformative proposals, and in early 2018, pledged nearly $2 million as well as significant technical assistance and support.

Collectively, the projects are named OHIP (Oral Health Integration Project) and focus on strategies that improve clinical integration and patient engagement. All projects are approximately two years in length and include sustainability plans. Each unique project has a set of measures, targets and deliverables to be completed during the funding period. The projects are:

  • Clackamas County Health Centers: Trauma informed care in the dental office.
  • Multnomah County Health Department: Immunizations in the dental setting.
  • Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest: Community outreach/mobile dental care.
  • Neighborhood Health Centers: Occupational therapy to increase oral health-promoting behavior.
  • Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Centers: Hygienists embedded in the primary care team and enhancements to the combined electronic health record.

A strong commitment from health center leadership in all disciplines is necessary for integration initiatives to take hold, succeed and be sustainable. All projects, therefore, have clearly identified partnerships and commitment between primary care and/or behavioral health programs and the associated dental program. Due to the initial effort placed on establishing this collaborative environment, we are now seeing great progress in the projects — all of which are on-track to meet their metric targets and deliverables.

We are excited to share some of the successes reported by our partners during the first 6 months of project launch.

  • Immunizations provided at Dental Baby Day clinics for children under age 3; certified medical assistant integrated within the dental team.
  • Expanded Practice Dental Hygienist embedded in a prenatal clinic.
  • Culturally-specific dental health education toolkit created; clinical dental services brought to the community with portable dental equipment.
  • Community Health Center teams trained in Foundations of Trauma Informed Care 101; dental anxiety scale designed.
  • Occupational Therapist-led patient activation approach for a health home structure implemented; culture of care delivery for children aged 0-5 re-formed.
  • OHIP learning collaborative in development by CareOregon Dental to spread project initiatives and lessons learned.

We are thankful for our partners and health centers who are improving the health care delivery system in our community. More OHIP stories to come!

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