Ohio State Dental Journal

Care-Ful Collaboration

As the largest provider of oral health services in Franklin County for adults with developmental disabilities, it is critical for the dental clinic at Ohio State’s Nisonger Center to have the most up-to-date technology.

Nevertheless, the center’s technology was not current generation—until now. Thanks to generous donations of EagleSoft® practice management software by Patterson Dental Company, mobile carts by Midmark Corp., and sensors by Sirona Dental, Inc., the providers at Nisonger Center now have digital patient records and digital radiography at their fingertips—and more time to devote to patient care.

Midmark Corp. mobile carts at the Nisonger Clinic

“Our patients are some of the most vulnerable patients in Central Ohio. They have difficulty finding dental care,” said Timothy Followell DMD, ’10 MS, the director of the Developmental Disability Dental Program at the Nisonger Center that provides a complete range of oral health services to special-needs children and adults. “About 1,000 children and adults make 1,800 visits a year at the McCampbell Hall location on Ohio State’s main campus, and another 1,900 patients through age 21 make 3,800 visits a year at a second location on Columbus’ east side.” 

The new practice management software will enable the Nisonger Center team to create and maintain digital patient records; conduct and store digital images; view digital radiography; and streamline patient scheduling. The new efficiencies came as a welcome surprise to Dr. Followell. “Dean Lloyd approached me and said 'I have an opportunity.' He coordinated all of this to make it possible.” 

The Nisonger Center was founded in 1966 and, in addition to dental care, provides a wide range of clinical services for people with developmental disabilities. An OHIO Project site for the College of Dentistry, the dental clinic has long been on the rotation for senior dental students fulfilling their 50 days of community service. It is the only OHIO Project site that all students spend time providing care to patients.

“This is a wonderful example of organizations with common interests collaborating to do something good for patients,” said Patrick M. Lloyd, dean of the College of Dentistry. “Not only is this important for our patients, but it’s an important opportunity for our students to apply what they will be learning about electronic records in our college clinics to a software that’s commonly used in dental practices.”