Written by: John Lynn
I must admit that the following question is one that I don’t have a very good answer to. However, I’ll offer what I know and hopefully the readers of the site can also chime in with their thoughts in the comments of this post. This question was posted in the comments of my previous EMR Stimulus question and answer post.
Can you help out another reader with a pressing question? Where can I find a good listing of EHRs for dentists? I’m looking specifically for ONC certified products that cater to dental practices and I’m coming up short so far. I know that DDS/DMDs can qualify for incentives under ARRA and they’ll be dinged on the Medicare side if they don’t use EHRs, but how are they supposed to comply if the software’s not out there for them? I’ve talked to several vendors with ONC certification who basically said they’re ignoring dentists in their outreach/software development (due to the larger potential market for internal medicine/general practice, the specialization required for dental systems, etc). A lot of dentists have PMS that they mistakenly believe are full EHRs, but it seems like there is a huge market out there for dental EHRs that is being ignored.
There was some discussion in the comments of the post where the above questions and comments were posted about whether Dentists do in fact qualify for EMR stimulus incentives. My understanding was that they could qualify. This of course assumes that they have enough Medicare and they were meaningful users of a certified EHR (as with everyone else). Although, I believe dentists are considered eligible providers (I’m sure someone will correct me in the comments if I’m wrong).
Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any EHR list by ONC or anyone else for that matter that has EHR software for dentists. Of course, I posted a link to the official ONC-ATCB certified EHR list before. So, watching that list might be the place to start. Although, that list is going to grow between now and the end of the year quite quickly. I won’t be surprised if that list is at least double or triple the size that it is now.
I must admit that I don’t know many of the dentist specific EHR, so I couldn’t go through the list to find the EHR software that is a certified EHR for dentists. If someone else does and wants to share it in the comments, I’ll post that list for others to see too.
I have heard of one dentistry software called Dentrix. I asked my friend who does some work with them about their take on the EHR stimulus money for dentists. He said that he’s asked for more info himself and the only answer he gets is that they need to talk to Dentrix Enterprise. I guess they have multiple versions of their software. Sounds like they are a bit like Allscripts with a ton of different EHR packages depending on size of the office. Unfortunately, Dentrix didn’t answer mine (and others) request on Twitter for information about the EHR stimulus for dentists.
One thing is certain. Dentists that try for the EHR stimulus money will likely be happy to evoke the exception clause for some of the meaningful use requirements that don’t apply to them.