Michigan Community Dental Clinics and Dentrix

Michigan Community Dental Clinics is a not-for-profit established in 2006 providing dental services to Medicaid patients at 21 clinics throughout the state. With 30 full-time and 30 part-time dentists, they provided services to 67,000 patients in 2011. Growth has been dependent on production incentives and improved quality of care as measured by their Dentrix Enterprise electronic dental record (EDR).

Their first step was to make doctor compensation partially dependent on production linked to the relative value of procedures performed based on the Delta Dental fee schedule. This established a basis for improved quality of care in a clinic serving low-income patients where profit is not typically a motivating factor. The Michigan-based clinics have used their electronic health record to intentionally collect, improve and use data and everyday practice to enhance their group dentistry and lead to greater return on investment.

Along with increased production, Dentrix Enterprise has allowed the clinics to improve quality utilizing evidence based reports such as Clinic Chart Reviews comparing amalgam and composite failure rates and Press Ganey patient satisfaction surveys.

“We have learned that using the right technology is an indispensable tool to tracking the work of our staff. Dentrix Enterprise is the backbone of the quality of care program since it allows any doctor to access any patient record in any clinic.”

Lessons Learned:

  • Electronic dental records can be used to improve production and care quality in a large dental clinic serving low income patients.
  • Measuring quality of care requires a baseline from which to measure changes, and incentives like dependent dentist compensation can increase results.

Heintschel, Gregory (2012, March 29) Dentrix Enterprise Success with Michigan Community Dental Clinics.