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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

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INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE
PRESS RELEASE
06/16/2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: (301) 443-3593, newsroom@ihs.gov

Indian Health Service Plans Comprehensive Electronic Dental Records System to Benefit Patients

The Indian Health Service (IHS), an agency in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), today announced that it will be making significant enhancements to its Electronic Dental Record (EDR) System through the use of innovative new software provided by Dentrix® Dental Systems, Inc. The Dentrix® Enterprise software will be integrated with the IHS Resource and Patient Management System to provide a comprehensive electronic dental record for approximately 300 IHS, Tribal, and Urban dental programs that provide services to approximately 1.8 million American Indians and Alaska Natives across the nation. The project, which the IHS plans to implement in fiscal year 2007, will cost an estimated $9 million over the first five years.

The IHS EDR Project is aligned closely with the HHS strategic goals and supports the achievement of several goals in the President’s Management Agenda, including competitive sourcing, expanded electronic government, and the strategic management of human capital.

“We believe this new technology-driven system will enable dental practitioners to link patient
appointment scheduling, clinical treatment planning, digital x-ray, and dental services in order to increase productivity, enhance record keeping, and help improve patient safety,” said IHS Director Charles W. Grim.

“We recognize that more than 1,800 dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants rely on the IHS Electronic Dental Record. Our goal is to make this system as comprehensive as possible to provide the highest possible quality of care to American Indian and Alaska Native people.”

“The software is built around the patient and enables the seamless integration of key functions that
will result in an efficient, cost-effective electronic dental record,” said Dr. George Chiarchiaro, Project Manager for the IHS EDR.

Dentrix® Enterprise is a family of enterprise system options for large, multi-site dental organizations and group practices. The system’s RealTime capability is tailored for growing multi-site dental organizations that need access to up-to-date data.

The IHS, Tribal, and Urban Indian health care system currently provides health services in over 600 hospitals and clinics nationwide to members of 561 federally recognized Tribes in 35 states.