TELEDENTISTRY LEARNING COLLABORATIVE

Teledentistry Program to Improve Oral Health Access in the Commonwealth

Request for Proposals

Virginia Health Catalyst will assist in coordinating the use of a patient-to-provider teledentistry program at two dental safety-net clinics in Virginia. This project aims to expand long-term access to oral health care through teledentistry beyond the pandemic.

This program is generously supported by the Virginia Department of Health through VDH HRSA Workforce Grant HRSA-18-014. VDH funding may not cover direct care or legislative activities.

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    About the Project

    Background

    Teledentistry is a method of providing oral health consultation, care, and education over a virtual platform. It enables clinicians to communicate with patients to provide advice, consultation, and triage and creates a complete record of images, forms, consent, payment, etc. It is not a specific service and it does not change a provider’s scope of practice. Teledentistry provides patients with secure, one-stop access to a provider without the need to leave home, which can ease multiple burdens on families while offering the provider flexibility and another touch-point for care. It has also been shown to improve patient outcomes, patient and provider satisfaction, and accessibility to a dentist. For more information, read our teledentistry implementation guide here.

    Throughout the project, Catalyst will support the participating clinics through education and technical assistance, including links to teledentistry best practices or lessons learned, research about software, and information to better understand equipment.

    Eligibility

    Eligible sites must meet the following criteria:

    • Be a dental safety net clinic or non-profit dental clinic
    • Located in an HRSA-designated dental health professional shortage area (DHPSA); check here to see if the county(s) you serve are DHPSAs
    • Employ a dental director, dentist, and a dental hygienist (or other appropriate staff)
    • Provide time for providers to conduct virtual consults
    • Develop defined goals for the use of teledentistry, i.e.:
      • Create virtual dental homes in the community
      • Connect with patients who experience transportation barriers
      • Maximize remote hygiene abilities
    • Include clinic staff capable of:
      • Learning new software and equipment used
      • Developing and testing workflows (ex: NNOHA Teledentistry-Workflow)
      • Participating in education and serving as a change agent
      • Implementing the program in the community
      • Collecting and reporting metrics
      • Understanding environmental facilitators for and barriers to implementing teledentistry services
    Project Commitments & Timeline

    During this project period, selected clinic staff will:

    • Attend every meeting (at least one clinic staff representative)
    • Collect and provide data monthly to Catalyst
    • Work towards achieving specific measurable goals
    • Spend funds appropriately before the July 15 deadline
    • Communicate regularly with Catalyst staff, including phone calls, e-mails, and meetings
    • Establish teledentistry project objectives with identified metrics

    February 2022

    Project begins, kick-off meeting

    March-August 2022

    Monthly 60-minute meetings

    Storyboard presentations in July

    August 2022

    Project ends

    Funding Availability

    The Virginia Department of Health can fund up to two sites to support the use of a patient-to-provider teledentistry program at a dental safety net facility. The selected sites will receive up to $15,000 each. All receipts and invoices are due by July 15, 2022, and the project will end on August 30, 2022.

    This funding will support:

    • Infrastructure
    • Supplies and equipment (i.e. cameras, sensors, x-ray, software, etc.)
    • Administrative support

    The funding will not support:

    • Direct care
    Application & Review Process

    Click the button below to fill out the short application.

    The review process may involve a phone conference or interview with applicants on a case-by-case basis, though it may not be required. In each application, reviewers will look for:

    • Well-defined goals that are realistic/tangible and measurable
    • Detailed steps for planning or implementation of the program