Amit Acharya, B.D.S., Ph.D., executive director of Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, participated as a panelist during the American Medical Informatics Association conference held Nov. 1​6-20 in Washington, D.C.

The panel discussed the actionable opportunities for improving knowledge at the intersection of dental and medical data. Dr. Acharya specifically provided insight in using electronic health records to accomplish this. Other panelists included Dr. Chad Novince, Medical University of South Carolina; Dr. Muhammad Walji, University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston; and Dr. Thankam Thyvalikakath, Indiana University School of Dentistry/Regenstrief Institute. The moderator of the session was Dr. Alexander Alekeseyenko, Medical University of South Carolina.

The panel was sponsored by the Dental Informatics Working Group, and organized by its chair Neel Shimpi, Ph.D., associate research scientist with the Center for Oral and Systemic Health at the Research Institute, and other members.

“For many years, Marshfield Clinic Health System has been pioneering the use of an integrated medical-dental electronic health record platform to solve the medical-dental practice divide," Dr. Acharya said.

In the past, dentistry and medicine have evolved as separate domains, and this has influenced education and health care delivery. Interprofessional health information exchange and integrated medical-dental electronic health records are important to provide integrated care delivery.

The panel discussed the possibility of developing an integrated medical-dental curriculum, medical-dental electronic health record and regional health information exchanges to enhance continuity of care across dental and medical care settings. ​