As one of 15 teams participating in the Dental Caries Management (DCM) Collaborative, the Jordan Valley Community Health Center has diligently worked to test and implement a chronic disease management protocol for patients between the ages of 6 and 20 years of age. As a FQHC located in Springfield, Missouri, Jordan Valley has the largest pediatric patient population of any health center in the state.
In the year since starting the DCM Collaborative, the Jordan Valley ‘Plaque Attackers’ have figured out how disease management is best implemented in their organization. They have moved beyond small scale testing of caries risk assessment and are now focused on calibrating all sites and providers in the adoption and delivery of care grounded in disease management principles. This is no small feat - in their six locations, there are approximately seventeen providers and seven residents, which collectively see approximately 1500 patients ages 6-20 every month.
To support their quality improvement efforts, the ‘Plaque Attackers’ formed a Dental Committee that meets regularly (called ‘huddles’ in quality improvement) to review data and decide on new ideas to test. Through trying and learning about how their system works on a small scale, the team has spread caries risk assessment, self-management goals, and minimally invasive dentistry ideas to all dental providers. As part of the DCM Collaborative, the ‘Plaque Attackers’ have used monthly measures to monitor their continuous improvement work, including: percentage of 6-20 year olds who received a caries risk assessment (PM1), percentage of 6-20 year olds who received self-management goals (PM2), and the outcome measure percentage of high risk patients with new caries lesions (OM1b) (see quality improvement run chart data below). This particular outcome measure reflects this team’s classic improvement over the course of the DCM Collaborative: they are seeing improvements in their patients’ oral health!
In addition, the ‘Plaque Attackers’ have focused on providing minimally invasive treatments that improve the health of high-risk patients while also ensuring the changes they make are sustainable for their organization. In their pediatric clinic, providers have started to use silver diamine fluoride, and they have begun scheduling 3-month (or more frequent) recare visits for their high-risk patients, rather than 6-month recare appointments.
Congratulations to Jordan Valley Community Health Center for all your efforts. You are championing disease management!
Pictured above: Jordan Valley Community Health Center co-team lead Ashley Popejoy, DDS, sharing her team’s vision and goals during the DCM Collaborative Learning Session 3 in San Diego; March 2016.
Intrigued? Learn more about the DentaQuest Institute’s Quality Improvement Collaboratives.