Pacific Dental Services (PDS), one of the nation’s leading dental support organizations, announces it has partnered with High Point University (HPU) in North Carolina to extend its instance of Epic, the most widely used comprehensive electronic health records system in the United States, for use in the college’s Workman School of Dental Medicine and dental practices affiliated with the school through the HPU Oral Health Network.
This unique partnership, the first of its kind for a dental support organization (DSO) to partner with an academic institution, was made possible by Epic’s Community Connect program, which allows larger health care systems already employing Epic to extend its use to others that would not otherwise be in a position to utilize the platform.
As part of the agreement, PDS will roll out Epic at High Point University, provide the onboarding and training for the platform, and maintain ongoing support services. HPU will then use Epic to give its dental students real-world exposure to the future of dental-medical integration through the technology, while providing integrated dental and medical care to its patients.
“We are honored for the opportunity to work with the High Point University Workman School of Dental Medicine to enhance dental and medical data integration and enable the future of oral health care,” said Stephen E. Thorne IV, Founder and CEO of Pacific Dental Services. “We know the impact dental professionals can have on patients’ overall health and in the overall health care system. We are taking steps to lead the industry and elevate dentists from being primarily focused on fixing dentition to embracing their full potential and becoming a vital part of every patient’s primary health care team.”
Epic is used by leading hospitals, health care systems and medical schools, which rely on the company’s unique software to manage the patient’s health journey. Given the link between oral health and certain systemic conditions, an integrated EHR was the clear solution to unite previously compartmentalized health data. After several years of collaboration and foundational work, PDS became the first DSO in the world to implement Epic into all of its more than 900 supported dental practices nationwide in 2022. Working with Epic to partner for dental has already yielded significant benefits for PDS’ supported clinicians and their patients, through improved collaboration between providers, early detection of systemic conditions, and enhanced patient experience.
“We are very excited about this partnership. As an Epic Community Connect partner of Pacific Dental Services, we are adding a custom-built dental version of Epic that bridges dentistry and medicine. Epic allows us to capture real-time data that will have tremendous value for delivering integrated oral healthcare, education, and research,” said Dr. Ali Shazib, DMD, Chief Clinical Officer of the HPU Oral Health Network. “With the experience of PDS, we are confident we will be supported throughout the entire process, from preparation to go-live and beyond.”
High Point University’s Doctor of Dental Medicine degree program will enroll its inaugural class in the fall of 2024 and the Workman School of Dental Medicine will be North Carolina’s only dental school that is part of a private university. Starting their first semester, students will spend a significant amount of time rotating through HPU Oral Health Network practices to provide and observe patient care and learn dental auxiliary roles and functions.
Part of that experiential learning will be utilizing state-of-the-art technology, including Epic, to manage patients’ oral health and medical needs. The HPU Oral Health Network will be fully interoperable with health care systems utilizing Epic (and able to exchange records with any health system that uses modern standards), allowing for team-based and integrated care for patients. In addition, dental students will have the ability to refer undiagnosed medical conditions to health care providers as well as manage the oral health needs for patients who are referred to them by their medical colleagues. This form of integrated care is the future of health care, underscoring the importance of oral health to overall health, and will allow HPU graduates to thrive in a team-based environment.
“Pacific Dental Services’ Epic implementation into the HPU Oral Health Network of clinical practices allows us to leverage data to advance clinical decision making and outcomes research,” said Dr. Scott S. De Rossi, DMD, MBA, founding dean of HPU’s Workman School of Dental Medicine and CEO of HPU Oral Health Network. “Having Epic through a Community Connect affiliation with PDS allows us to be at the forefront of integrating general and oral health. It will allow us to provide an elevated patient experience and improve health outcomes for those whom we serve, ensuring our students get the very best clinical education.”
“We believe that the collaboratively designed Pacific Dental Services instance of the Epic health records system is the most powerful dental platform in the world,” said David Baker, chief information and digital officer of Pacific Dental Services. “Once siloed data is now together, forging a true longitudinal patient record, which will in turn drive powerful oral-systemic health connections. We plan to expand on this work with additional dental schools, private dental practices, DSOs, and health care systems to offer Epic through the Community Connect program.”
For partnership inquiries, contact David Baker, PDS Chief Information and Digital Officer.
About Pacific Dental Services
Founded in 1994, Pacific Dental Services (PDS) is one of the country’s leading dental support organizations, providing supported autonomy that enables dentists to concentrate on clinical excellence and the highest levels of cost-effective comprehensive patient care. PDS originated the Private Practice+ model to enable dentists to focus on their passion: serving patients.
PDS also pioneered the concept of modern dentistry so that dentists are equipped to combine advances in the latest technology with the best operational practices and procedures, highly skilled support staff and a commitment to ongoing training and education. PDS continues to grow, and currently supports more than 2,700 dentists in over 900 dental offices across 25 states.
PDS-supported dentists aim to be the provider of choice in all the markets they serve and to develop Patients for Life.
For more information, visit us at pacificdentalservices.com or follow us on Facebook: @pacificdentalservices, Instagram: @pacific.dental, LinkedIn: @pacific-dental-services, Twitter: @pacificdental, and YouTube: @pacificdentaltv.
About High Point University
At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people.® HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students. U.S. News & World Report has ranked HPU the No. 1 Best Regional College in the South for 11 consecutive years and the No. 1 Most Innovative Regional College in the South for eight consecutive years. The Princeton Review named HPU in the 2023 edition of “The Best 388 Colleges” and on the Best Southeastern Colleges “2023 Best Colleges: Region by Region” list.
HPU was also recognized among the Top 20 in the nation for Best-Run Colleges, Best Career Services, Most Beautiful Campus, Most Active Student Government Association, Best College Dorms and Best Campus Food, as well as a Great School for Business/Finance Majors and a Great School for Communication Majors. For 12 years in a row, HPU has been named a College of Distinction with special recognition for career development, business and education programs. The university has 64 undergraduate majors, 66 undergraduate minors and 19 graduate degree programs. It is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference.
Visit High Point University on the web at highpoint.edu.