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Data and Evidence Matter in Preventistry

Deciding how to use data – and how to apply it to affect change – can be overwhelming.

Here is some context: 2.5 exabytes of data are produced every day. This is equivalent to 150,000,000 iPhones or 5 million laptops! By 2020, there will be 44 zettabytes of data in existence – 1 zettabyte is equal to 44 trillion gigabytes. This data is made up of photos, videos, documents, datasets, medical records, social media posts and a plethora of other content.

data - info - knowledge - intelligence

Data, its acquisition, its use and its dissemination allows DentaQuest to work to improve the oral health of all.

Like other companies, we use data to inform business decisions and plan for what comes next. But unlike others, DentaQuest uses sophisticated data mining and modeling, statistical analysis tools, and clinical expertise when analyzing data to ultimately ensure people are receiving the right care at the right time in the best setting.

DentaQuest has a tremendous amount of data that can help inform policymakers, answer important research questions, improve the way patient care is delivered and ensure people across the country understand the importance of oral health.

For instance, the State of Maryland actually passed legislation to pilot an adult Medicaid dental benefit thanks in part to specific data mining and analysis from DentaQuest researchers. By analyzing trends in hospital data, we showed that adults with oral health issues seek care at hospital emergency departments, which cost significantly more than traditional dental visits. Legislators were convinced that funding an adult Medicaid dental benefit was more cost effective than this inefficient use of health care resources.

Data takes us from thoughts to knowledge. And knowledge enables smart, informed decisions. But owning or having access to data is not enough; how we use and apply it is equally as important. Preventistry rests on that fact, focused on translating data into knowledge and actionable intelligence that can be used to improve oral health and wellbeing across the nation.