UCSF is First to Integrate Records Across Medical and Dental

Move Provides Patients and Clinicians More Comprehensive View of Overall Health

By Elizabeth Fernandez

Two dental students look at a computer screen with dental records
UCSF School of Dentistry students access the “APeX Wisdom module,” part of a new electronic health record system developed by EPIC Systems, on the first day the software was used in the UCSF dental clinics, a milestone in UCSF’s vision to integrate oral health with the rest of the UCSF Health system..

UCSF Health and UCSF Dentistry have become the first academic health system in the West to merge medical and oral health records into an electronic health record.

Starting Dec. 5, 2022, UCSF Health patients who also receive dental care through UCSF Dentistry will be able to access both sets of records and appointments in one place, while their providers will gain a more complete picture of patients’ health through UCSF Health’s EPIC electronic record system.

Connecting the records is a major step in integrating oral health with other health disciplines, enabling clinicians to work together to provide comprehensive care to patients.

... A comprehensive approach to oral and medical care makes sense and positions UCSF to be a leader in breaking down barriers between the fields of dentistry and medicine.

Suresh Gunasekaran, President and CEO of UCSF Health

“This connection gives UCSF Health and UCSF dental clinicians a more complete picture of their patients’ health information, including a shared medication list, and provides new opportunities to coordinate care,” said Suresh Gunasekaran, president and CEO, UCSF Health. “Given the synergistic relationship between oral health and overall wellness, a comprehensive approach to oral and medical care makes sense and positions UCSF to be a leader in breaking down barriers between the fields of dentistry and medicine.”

Research in recent years has linked oral health to numerous illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Oral health may also predict and exacerbate the development and severity of medical conditions throughout the body.

The medical and dental records integration is also a key step in further fostering collaboration and innovation among UCSF’s clinical, teaching and research programs, according to Michael Reddy, DMD, DMSc, dean of the UCSF School of Dentistry and associate vice chancellor of Oral Health Affairs at UCSF.

“We know that oral health impacts a wide range of conditions, from heart disease to preterm birth, but until now it has been difficult for health care providers to make those connections for individual patients,” said Reddy. “This is the type of integration and innovation that helps us offer patients world-class care based on both the latest science and their specific needs.”

About UCSF Health: UCSF Health is recognized worldwide for its innovative patient care, reflecting the latest medical knowledge, advanced technologies and pioneering research. It includes the flagship UCSF Medical Center, which is ranked among the top 10 hospitals nationwide, as well as UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, with campuses in San Francisco and Oakland, Langley Porter Psychiatric Hospital and Clinics, UCSF Benioff Children’s Physicians and the UCSF Faculty Practice. These hospitals serve as the academic medical center of the University of California, San Francisco, which is world-renowned for its graduate-level health sciences education and biomedical research. UCSF Health has affiliations with hospitals and health organizations throughout the Bay Area. Visit http://www.ucsfhealth.org/.