Medical Dental Integration

Challenge

In the United States, medical and dental fields have historically been siloed with separate professional programs, payers, and practices. There is a growing opportunity for interprofessional education and collaboration in public health settings and healthcare systems that serve vulnerable populations who may have unmet oral health and/or unmet chronic disease prevention and control needs, particularly individuals with multiple chronic conditions.

Approach

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded funding to the the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) and KDHRC to identify a framework that will promote collaboration between oral health and primary health care programs in public health, clinical, and academic settings. NACDD has contracted with KDHRC to work with them to return the mouth back to the body by developing an approach that will address myriad issues related to medical-dental integration in dental public health and primary care settings. In the first year of the project, KDHRC will use research expertise to assess the current programmatic and clinical MDI strategies to ultimately develop a national framework. 

KDHRC uses a systematic research approach to understand the big picture of the medical-dental integration landscape. We collect, screen and summarize impactful publications and convene meetings with thought leaders in this field for real-time input and advice. 

To ensure we identify MDI strategies from all angles, KDHRC will work with NACDD to:

  • Establish and convene a steering committee of experts in the MDI field
  • Conduct a systematic literature review  
  • Develop a matrix of existing MDI programs
  • Conduct in-depth interviews with key contacts
  • Plan for an in-person convening of thought leaders to prioritize and aggregate strategies and tactics and provide comments and feedback

Findings

To date, KDHRC has

  • Developed a project specific systematic literature review methodology
  • Identified and screened 5,698 articles, included 815 articles in full-text review, and has coded more than 150 peer-revied articles in both Atlas.ti and Excel.
  • Established and convened a steering committee with NACDD support with 11 experts in the field
  • Connected with 14 subject matter experts and organization representatives in the medical, dental, and academic fields 

Related Research 

KDHRC’s systematic literature review is an extension of the University of Iowa’s Environmental Scan to obtain a comprehensive up-to-date landscape of medical-dental integration in the United States. To learn more about the systematic literature review methodology, please review here

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