Computerization has been present since the start of my practice life, about 30 years ago. We have always transcribed our notes and so we have always utilized computer based systems to organize our data including patient registration. The use of this information to file insurance came on the scene a number of years ago and has been useful and helpful in expediting a still cumbersome process as it relates to oral surgical-insurance ease. The true use of Electronic Medical Record – as it exists in the hospital setting may seem like it is up and running strong. But the truth is that these systems are not readily accessible to practitioners and especially when you cross boundaries from one corporate entity to another. (J Oral and Maxillofac Surg 77:896-897, 2019). When you get to the level of a clinical application such as an oral surgery group or a dental group it becomes even more narrow.

It is only beneficial in that the members of our group are able to share and access information on shared patients. It is my opinion that the data we can access through hospital based systems to evaluate and treat our patients is extremely helpful. The problem for us – as private practitioners – is that our information is not easily shared on their (the hospital or medical group’s) system without either functioning in their system, or by spending a great amount of time inputting data into their system.

Frankly, as a small group practice, I have found it easiest and best to maintain our own records and in our case that includes a combination of electronic documentation and paper charts. I am actually hopeful that shared systems will not become mandated by the government. It seems that we do not have very much privacy as it is.