Oral Health Safety Net Collaborative Generating Big Smiles

The Strengthening the Oral Health Safety Net for Pregnant Women and Young Children Collaborative has had a successful first phase focused on improving practice finance and efficiency.  Six pilot sites (the Catawba, Orange, Macon, and Madison Health Departments as well as the ECU-Elizabeth City Community Learning Center and Piedmont Health) attended a two-day workshop in Hickory in May.  At the workshop, they further developed their dental QI projects based on a thorough Practice Assessment and related Enhancement Plan conducted by the NC Office of Rural Health.  The six pilot sites will continue to test their change ideas focusing on clinic flow at their upcoming three-day Kaizen events this summer, facilitated by NC State IES Lean Facilitators. 

After the workshop, CPHQ Director Greg Randolph, remarked, “I was really struck by the passion and excitement all of the teams showed for examining their business and clinical flow processes and striving to dramatically improve them – I am really looking forward to seeing what these teams accomplish and the impact it has on their communities.”

After the Practice Finance and Efficiency Phase, the pilot sites will begin to focus on providing enhanced access and clinical care to pregnant women and young children.  In collaboration with faculty from UNC School of Dentistry and School of Medicine, they will implement the Baby Oral Health Program (bOHP) in August and the Prenatal Oral Health Program (pOHP) training in January.

"Even at the workshop, clinics were identifying low hanging fruit—things that will really make a difference in their accessibility to families with young kids and to their bottom line," said Katie Eyes, Senior Program Officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC Foundation.  "It’s clear that with support of training they’re receiving now and in the fall that they are well on the path to improving oral health in their communities. The learning that goes on among the sites and with support of the faculty is the reason that we really believe in the cohort based approach."





Programs supported by:

BlueCross BlueShield of NC FoundatoinThe Duke Endowment

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