ORAL HEALTH INTEGRATION

Oral health is inextricably linked to overall health - yet, it is often a separate and sometimes undervalued aspect of health care. An integrated health care approach benefits patients, caregivers, providers, and the larger health care system. To achieve integrated care for patients, health care teams work collaboratively with one another and patients to set shared goals, provide care, and offer education within and across settings that achieve coordinated, high-quality care.

What is Care Integration?

An integrated health system is inter-professional, easy for patients to navigate, and addresses a patient’s whole health. In an integrated system, every part of the health care experience, from check-in to clinical engagements and referrals for social support, are streamlined and collaborative to improve patient outcomes.

Any care setting can enhance care integration and workflow. Check out Catalyst's integration resources, including an Oral Health Integration Toolkit, to learn how you can leverage integration to improve health outcomes.

A Who's Who for Successful Integration

Creating an integrated system requires buy-in and dedication at every level:

integration workflow

Oral Health Integration Learning Collaborative

For almost five years, Virginia Health Catalyst has led an oral health integration learning collaborative in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health. These year-long projects provide education, technical assistance, and one-on-one support to dental safety net clinics across the commonwealth as they build on their integration efforts. The collaborative also provides a space for clinic staff to connect with other providers and advance their health equity goals.

Past projects include:

  • Increasing the number of patients with diabetes who receive a dental visit
  • Improving communication strategies across the medical and dental teams
  • Integrating fluoride varnish applications into well-child visits

 Reach out to Ericca Facetti with any questions.

Apply for the 2022 Oral Health Integration Learning Collaborative!

Dental safety net clinics can apply to participate in the learning collaborative, and uncover integration strategies that meet the needs of the health system and communities.

Transforming Oral Health for Families (TOHF)

Catalyst is a partner in the Transforming Oral Health for Families (TOHF) project, part of the HRSA-funded Networks for Oral Health Integration (NOHI) program. The goal of the project is to work with health centers in VA, NY, DC, and MD to improve the oral health of children ages 0-40 months and pregnant people through the integration of oral health care into primary care.

Reach out to Ericca Facetti with any questions.

Future of Public Oral Health

One of the recommendations of the Future of Public Oral Health (FPOH) Taskforce lists an integrated health system as one that promotes oral health as a critical component of overall health. Catalyst convenes the FPOH Integration Workgroup to focus specifically on integration activities around the commonwealth.

Integration Resources

To equip the health care community with the tools and resources needed to successfully integrate care Virginia Health Catalyst developed the resources below. To learn more about integrating care, contact Ericca Facetti.