October 21, 2021
Hygienist Weekly Digest
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News You Can Use
Electronic health records offer more options
There are differences between electronic health records, which are cloud-based information management systems, and electronic medical records, which are usually server-based, dental hygienist Linda Harvey, president of the Dental Compliance Institute, wrote in DentistryIQ. EMRs in the future will become legacy technology due to changing federal laws, Ms. Harvey said, while EHRs are more comprehensive because they can extend beyond a dental practice to share information with other health care providers. "When it comes to providing optimal patient care along with reliable security and a streamlined workflow, EHRs are superior to EMRs," Ms. Harvey said.
Full Story: DentistryIQ (10/15) 
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Hygienists in the News
Great Falls College Montana State University has expanded its dental clinic using $1.09 million in institutional funds and a $4.25 million appropriation from the state legislature, the Independent Record of Helena reported. Great Falls has the only dental hygiene program in Montana, and the 12,000-square-foot clinic expansion will allow it to accept an additional seven dental hygiene students. An existing 6,600 square feet of clinic space was remodeled.
Full Story: Independent Record (Helena, Mont.) (10/19) 
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Students and faculty at the Sarah Whitaker Glass School of Dental Hygiene at West Virginia's West Liberty University reminded students on campus about the importance of good oral health in recognition of National Dental Hygiene Month, the university reported. "Dental health is important to everyone's overall health," program director Stephanie Meredith said. The school currently has 66 undergraduate students, and 11 students are enrolled in its new Master of Science in Dental Hygiene program.
Full Story: West Liberty University (10/18) 
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Dentistry in the News
The World Health Organization included glass ionomer cement, silver diamine fluoride and topical fluoride-containing preparations such as toothpaste in its Model List of Essential Medicines for Adults and Children, the first time that the organization has deemed the dental preparations to be essential, according to ADA News. "This marks a major achievement for oral health and public health," said Jessica Meeske, D.D.S., immediate past chair of the American Dental Association's Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention. In its executive summary, the WHO Expert Committee said oral health problems, especially untreated dental caries, were a significant global public health problem.
Full Story: ADA News (10/15) 
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Data from the Oregon Health Authority shows dentists in the state have the highest rate for COVID-19 vaccination among health care workers at 98% as of Oct. 4, while dental hygienists have a vaccination rate of 86%, KVAL-TV of Eugene reported. Local dentists attributed the high rate to the profession's history of implementing infection control protocols.
Full Story: KVAL-TV (Eugene, Ore.) (10/19) 
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Researchers from The University of Toledo and other institutions will use a three-year, $1.2 million grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research to study how people develop a fear of going to the dentist, the university reported. Researchers plan to use virtual reality simulations of potentially anxiety-inducing events and measure subjective reports of anxiety as well as physiological markers linked to anxiety.
Full Story: University of Toledo (Ohio) (10/15) 
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Health and Safety
US COVID-19 health emergency gets 7th extension
The Department of Health and Human Services has extended the pandemic public health emergency for another 90 days. This is the seventh time HHS has renewed the emergency declaration, McKnight's Senior Living reported.
Full Story: McKnight's Senior Living online (10/19) 
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The Food and Drug Administration is delaying a decision on whether to extend eligibility for Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 12 to 17 to evaluate whether the vaccine may increase the risk of myocarditis, a rare inflammatory heart condition, sources say. The Wall Street Journal reported that the delay, which could last several weeks, comes amid the decisions of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark not to recommend the vaccine for individuals under age 30.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (10/15) 
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A study of 33,357 patients in the ALLHAT trial found that individual risk profiles may influence a person's ideal systolic and diastolic blood pressure target, MedPage Today reported. The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, also suggested that a systolic or diastolic BP that is too low may be detrimental to the patient.
Full Story: MedPage Today (free registration) (10/18) 
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Nature exposure tied to child well-being during lockdown
Researchers studied 376 families who had children ages 3 to 7 in the UK and found that more than half of the families reported that their children's connection with nature increased in the first lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic, while others reported that children's interaction with nature declined or remained the same, according to HealthDay News. The findings in People and Nature showed that one-third of children whose interaction with nature decreased exhibited increases in acting out or in anxiety and sadness, compared with those who spent more time in nature during the pandemic lockdown.
Full Story: HealthDay News (10/15) 
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Dental Benefits and Industry
An Oct. 4 webinar led by the American Dental Association Health Policy Institute covered findings of a recent ADA HPI research brief that highlights how dental care for children in Medicaid differs from Medicaid dental benefits for adults, ADA News reported. Medicaid reimbursements for dental services, compared with private insurance; a revised method of determining dentist participation in Medicaid; and patterns of dental care use among privately insured individuals and Medicaid participants were discussed. "A better understanding of dentists' Medicaid participation will help inform how we can build a more robust dental care safety net to provide care and promote oral health for the growing number of people with Medicaid coverage," the brief's authors wrote.
Full Story: ADA News (10/18) 
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Work-life Balance
Mindful eating -- being present physically and emotionally to experience food as it is being eaten -- has been shown in small studies to have some health benefits, such as stress reduction and normalized eating habits, experts told CNN. The goal is to be more in tune with your senses and thoughts while eating and not have distractions, said Teresa T. Fung, a professor at Simmons University in Boston. Lilian Cheung, director of health promotion and communication in the nutrition department at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said gratitude also is part of mindful eating as you consider where the food came from and express "gratitude for the environmental elements and individuals involved in the food's journey to the plate."
Full Story: CNN (10/14) 
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