The Denton County Public Health Department is located in Denton County, Texas and is home to more than 800,000 individuals with numerous organizations and agencies that come together to collectively address areas of concern for the well-being of Denton County. Demographics of the population served include 60% of non-Hispanic white, 19% Hispanic, 10% non-Hispanic African Amerian, 9% Asian, and the remainer American Indian or other Pacific Islander.
While Denton County was recently ranked first out of Texas counties graded for health outcomes, data specific to dental services is limited. This public health issue is being tackled by various efforts on the local, state and national levels. Challenges and barriers exist when integrating oral health into overall health.
Main goals and objectives of the practice, Integration of the Dental Services Program were based on Denton County Public Health SWOT Analysis, results of a collaborative County-wide Community Health Assessment (CHA), and were guided by the collaborative county-wide Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP)
Integration of the Dental Services Program was implemented systematically by undertaking activities internally within the Denton County Public Health Department and subsequently externally within the Denton County community.
Successful transition to electronic dental health records including a digital acquisition x-ray system and integration into the electronic medical health records was achieved. Baseline data was collected and analyzed and subsequently contributed to the successful development and identification of key performance indicators of the dental services program along with the development and implementation of a quality improvement project. Collaborations with community stakeholders were fostered and developed. Overall, the integration of the dental services program has and continues to contribute to improving the health of Denton County residents.
Yes, all objectives were met and continue to expand.
Guided by the essential services of public health, supported by the various systematic and thorough processes to develop the aforementioned CHA and CHIP for the community, and the commitment of the Denton County Public Health Department efforts to integrate the dental services program led to the success of this practice.
Integrating oral health into overall health as identified by the Surgeon General and continues to be a challenge however by starting small and taking action internally and then externally, the Denton County Public Health Department and the residents of Denton County are benefiting from the various components of this practice.