Implementing Care Coordination in a Large Dental Care Organization in the United States by Upskilling Front Office Personnel

Authors: Aubri Kottek, MPH | Kristen Hoeft | Joel White | Elizabeth Mertz, PhD

Topics: Integration and Collaboration, Oral Health

Research Center: Oral Health Workforce Research Center

April 7, 2021

Care coordination is a strategy used to improve health outcomes and efficiency, but has not been widely adopted in the dental field. To test out care coordination in the field, a large dental accountable care organization participated in a pilot project where they retrained existing administrative staff to coordinate the care of high-risk patients. Following the pilot’s success, a formal dental care advocate (DCA) role was integrated system-wide. The goal of the new DCAs is to improve care, patient engagement, and health outcomes while integrating staff into the clinical care team.

This article describes the process of DCA role implementation and assesses staff and clinician perceptions about the role pre- and post-implementation.

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