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Dental Records: Best Practices for Information Management and Retention

Course Number: 532


Whether EDR or paper records are chosen for use in the office, the information regarding the patient must always be as complete as the standard of care requires. Consistent, complete, and secure records are a sign of satisfactory patient treatment and the establishment of an acceptable dentist-patient relationship. As technology continues to advance, the patients of the practice will come to expect their dental team to be utilizing current techniques. That may include a basic computer system for records, scheduling, and security or go beyond that to integrated applications such as computer assisting crown work and three-dimensional radiography.

The dental team must maintain and protect all patient information. Knowing the regulations for retention and transfer is critical for following HIPAA regulations. Conducting intermittent risk analyses audits can help to identify and eliminate threats. It is important that the dentist foster an office culture that places importance on complete, accurate, and current records. Whether the records be in paper or electronic format, the standard of care and dentist-patient relationship will be viewed stronger by all parties.