Copyright: racorn / 123RF Stock Photo

“Oral health is essential to general health and well-being and can be achieved.”
- Surgeon General Richard Carmona, 2003

Systems Collaboration

Oral health is often perceived as separate from overall health, leading to segregation of systems of care and lack of effective coordination. This goal addresses the need for more integration of oral health care across systems and improved communications among providers. The report Implementing Dental Services in Kansas Hospitals provides one example of how this integration can occur.

Lead organizations are shown in italics after each objective:
OHK - Oral Health Kansas KAMU - Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved
KDHE - Kansas Department of Health and Environment KDP - Kansas Dental Project
KDA - Kansas Dental Association UMKC SOD - University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry
KDHA - Kansas Dental Hygienists’ Association  



Oral health care is integrated into already established medical programs.

OBJECTIVE 1: Oral health questions are incorporated into assessment tools used with target populations (e.g., young children, older adults, people with disabilities)

a. Identify assessment tools for target populations.

b. Develop and validate oral health questions to be incorporated.

c. Research and advocate for reimbursement methodology.


kidsOBJECTIVE 2: Guidelines and regulations pertaining to oral health education among child care,
foster care and home visitors are in place.  (KDHE)

a. Assess the current guidelines and make recommendations for change in policy regulations and/or statute.

b. Conduct a public input process.

c. Identify barriers to implementation.

d. Standardize oral health integration in statutes and regulations.

e. Increase collaboration among state agencies (i.e., KDHE’s Bureau of Oral Health and Bureau of Family Health, Kansas Department of Aging and Disabilities, Health Occupation Credentialing).


Electronic Dental RecordsOBJECTIVE 3: Dental providers are educated on the benefits of using Electronic Dental Records.  (KDA)

a. Survey all private and public dental health providers to determine what systems they are currently using for records.

b. Identify resources for public health dentistry providers to connect the Electronic Dental Record to Health Information Organizations.

c. Educate Health Information Organizations  as to how Electronic Dental Records can benefit the provider and patient.

d. Connect with the Kansas Health Information technology services to determine the best interface between dental practice management systems and health information exchanges.


OBJECTIVE 4: New models for delivery of oral health services, including hospitals, local health departments and community partnerships are implemented.  (OHK)

a. Explore what other states are doing that is successful and evidence-based.

b. Develop a pilot to show the effectiveness of the models.

c. Engage stakeholders in exploring potentially effective models, such as dental services in critical access hospitals.