Primary Approaches

Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation

About the Grant

Support to Marshfield Clinic (MC), to lead a collaborative between Family Health Center of Marshfield (FHC) and Security Health Plan (SHP) to systematically improve the oral and general health of populations they serve. The starting point for this transformative undertaking is a proof-of-concept demonstration that will leverage MC's established Health Informatics & Information Technology (HIIT) capabilities to improve the oral and general health of individuals with diabetes (DM). The collaborators bring substantial experience in demonstrations and their evaluations, knowledgeable professional staff, medical and dental provider resources and commitments from all to achieve their shared goal. The project is revolutionary in conceptualization, emanating from emerging scientific evidence base linking improved oral health to improved overall heath for those with DM. It is also revolutionary in composition, leveraging emerging HIIT capabilities and extending those capabilities at point-of-care to systematically improve care processes and individual health. Its key features include elements needed for both initial success and sustainability: 1) development and deployment of electronic clinical decision support tools at medical and dental point-of-care to facilitate standardization of care processes, support risk assessment and provide timely referral for valued health services, 2) inter-professional education and collaboration among medical and oral health professionals to improve individual and population health and more effectively leverage HIIT resources for systematic care process improvement and 3) robust education for communities and patients about the importance of oral health to maintain good overall health and specifically about interrelationship between DM and periodontitis, using traditional and non-traditional patient education approaches such as patient web portals. While the project efforts will focus on DM, the model is adaptable to other oral systematic conditions.