Using Syndromic Emergency Department Data to Augment Oral Health Surveillance

John P. Jasek, Nicole Hosseinipour, Talia Rubin, Ramona Lall


Using the chief complaint field from our established syndromic ED system, we developed definitions for potentially preventable oral health visits (OHV) and examined patterns in 2009-2011 data. Under the widest definition, OHV comprised about 1% of ED visits. Adults ages 18 to 29 had markedly higher OHV than other ages, as did certain neighborhoods/EDs. We found more than half of OHV occurred during daytime hours, suggesting opportunities for targeted outreach and education. With some caveats, syndromic ED data provide a useful complement to other oral health surveillance strategies.

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Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 *