We know the knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone, as the children’s song goes. Our teeth are connected to the rest of us, too.
So don’t be surprised if your dentist nudges you to make an appointment for that overdue mammogram. Or if your doctor reminds you that it’s time to get your teeth cleaned.
When you leave the dentist’s office, you will receive an after-visit summary reminding you of future medical appointments. And when you leave the doctor’s office, your summary will include future dental appointments.
To make this level of collaboration possible, Kaiser Permanente’s 19 dental offices recently switched from paper charts to an electronic total health record. Kaiser Permanente is among the first commercial health care organizations to integrate patients’ medical and dental health records.
Member Sylvia Verburg was the first patient to be checked in using the new system, which premiered at the North Lancaster Dental Office last summer.
“I think it’s great that they’re combined now,” Verburg said. “Makes it so much easier.”
There are other offices offering medical and dental services in the same building. But Kaiser Permanente is using the Cedar Hills location, which opened in January, as a laboratory to test out new ways of combining medical and dental care.
“The new Cedar Hills location demonstrates Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to innovation and redefining total health care for our members, community, and industry,” said Dr. Cyrus Lee, lead dentist at Cedar Hills.
Families who would otherwise juggle multiple appointments appreciate the convenience. Four-year-old Mason Tate recently visited Cedar Hills for a teeth cleaning. His dental hygienist noticed he was due for flu and polio shots. A nurse administered them while Tate was in the dental chair.
“This integrated care supports our busy family,” said Mason’s mom, Angie Tate.
The office also offers same-day and next-day appointments for minor injuries and illnesses, even if you don’t need to see the dentist.