Oral Health Group

Predicting who will get sick — just what the patients want

July 22, 2015
by Kahaliah Richards

Partners In Prevention 1American insurers are now using sophisticated computer algorithms to predict who, amongst their clients, will require early re-admission to hospital or who will have difficulties with their diabetes. For those who are predicted to get sick (again), the insurers offer additional services such as a health coach or more more home care.

Our Canadian medical system is also waking up to the repeat, high-risk customer. Three years ago, when I was ready to be sent home after orthopedic surgery, I was approached in the hospital by a “nurse navigator” — someone who asked me about my behaviour and support at home so that I didn’t suffer another fall.

In dental care, predicting who will get more dental disease is straightforward. Those at highest risk for another cavity or more periodontal care, are those who have had these diseases recently. About 1 in 3 adults sitting in the dental practice waiting room have had more than 2 cavities or crowns in the past 2 years. And about 1 in 3 of these adults take 3 or more medications daily and thereby have other chronic diseases and/or a dry mouth which predisposes more dental decay.

So if we follow the emerging medical model of preventing re-admissions for more medical care, the dental team would be focusing on these high risk adults and working with them on managing the underlying bacterial infections which cause more oral health problems.

This change to predicting who is going to get dentally sick is just what the patient wants. Risk assessment is the second most preferred service of adult dental patients.

For more  information, please visit: http://partnersinprevention.ca

By: Ross Perry
SOURCED: Partners In Prevention – http://partnersinprevention.ca/predicting-who-will-get-sick-just-what-the-patients-want/

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