St. Joseph dental clinic transitions to electronic medical records

August 05, 2020

A new electronic medical record system has streamlined patient processes at the dental clinic on Penn State Health St. Joseph’s Downtown Campus.

“We can check insurance, estimate costs and schedule the next appointment right in the room with our patients,” Practice Site Manager Michelle Mountz said.

Before the new system was installed on July 7, those seemingly simple tasks required a multistep process. Staff waited on phones with insurers and relayed information to patients, often leading to delays in care.

“For a general practice residency program that typically completes 10,000 patient visits a year,” Mountz said, “it is a huge help connecting us to the information that we need quickly, so our patients can decide the best treatments for their budgets.”

For more than 25 years, the dental clinic at 145 N. 6th St., Reading, has served patients who otherwise couldn’t afford dental care, Mountz said.

“We offer very competitive rates and the same services you would find in a traditional dental office. We are staffed by dental residents supervised by our faculty,” she said. “We do dentures, root canals, Invisalign, bleaching and dental implants. We offer financial assistance, and we offer employees payroll deduction for their treatments.”

Staffed by four dental residents Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., the clinic, which has graduated more than 100 residents since its opening, also serves as a resource for Hershey Medical Center.

“We are consulted for cases at Hershey, where we send our residents and faculty to assist with preoperative dental clearance and treatments,” Mountz said, explaining that many dental residencies don’t offer access to similar tertiary centers and critical patients. “It is a great learning opportunity to be part of Hershey’s transplant and cancer treatment teams.”

Last Updated August 05, 2020