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News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin December 2010
26 DECEMBER 2010 no false advice Please contact Garry Pammer, Alison Lacey or Heath Stewart on: Telephone (02) 9264 1111 Fax (02) 9264 1344 email firstname.lastname@example.org website clarkjacobs.com.au Dental specialists for over 20 years e-Health What your dentist needs to know about you The e-Health initiative is planned to transform the Australian healthcare system from one that is paper based, and limits access to the patient's vital healthcare information, to an electronic system that delivers vital healthcare information 'to the right person in the right place at the right time'. With e-Health initiatives taking shape, the ADA stresses that dentists need access to a patient's full medical history to ensure optimal health outcomes. The consumer's ability to decide what part, if any, of their medical record dentists can access is a concern. A patient who does not understand all the implications of their health status and limits the information included in their e-Health record is a recipe for disaster. There are many medical conditions and medications that influence how dentists provide treatment to their patients. Diabetic patients are best seen at certain times during the day and may need different treatment modalities to be taken for, say, extracting a tooth. Many medications can affect saliva flow and therefore can increase tooth decay. People taking blood thinners or anti-platelet drugs (which thin the blood) can cause complications in even the simplest dental procedure. Blood pressure medication and antidepressants can interact with certain types of local anesthetics. Certain medications prescribed to combat osteoporosis can adversely affect dental treatments. Even minor things, such as taking vitamin C, can reduce the effectiveness of local anesthetic and negatively influence dental treatment. "The dental profession is concerned that the National e-Health Transition Authority, health authorities and patients are not yet sufficiently well informed about the range of medical history details that need to be known by dentists to allow them to provide patients with the best quality care. The ADA is particularly concerned that if patients are permitted to exclude key data from their records, without knowing the consequences, then the much vaunted efficiencies of electronic records will not eventuate. This defeats the underlying purpose of the system and creates potential legal minefields", said Dr Neil Hewson, Federal President of the ADA. There is a need for dentists to have a complete medical history. Enhanced care coordination cannot occur if health records are being edited by patients and vital information is being left out. Patients need to understand the implications of withholding information and realise that important decisions by their health professional may be compromised to their detriment on the basis of incomplete information being available. The ADA continually advocates improved health outcomes for patients and supports initiatives such as e-Health to achieve this. The ADA is currently engaging with NEHTA, dental software providers, and the Department of Health and Ageing to ensure that e-Health measures introduced within Australia are appropriate and improve the safe practice of dentistry and are compatible with computer programs used by dentists in Australia. Source: National Dental Update, November 2010. The ADA National Dental Update is a monthly publication distributed to politicians and opinion leaders. Other issues can be viewed at www.ada.org.au national dental update
ADA News Bulletin November 2010
ADA News Bulletin February 2011