Opening my email today, I saw that the Institute for HealthImprovement’s IHI Forum 2021 has nine tracks listed. Here are the five that jumped out directly relate to the work we are doing at DifferentKind:

  • Improvement Science
  • Building capacity for Improvement
  • Person-Centered Care
  • Workforce and Patient Safety
  • Joy and Well-being at Work
  • Equity

The concept of health improvement and related sciences is still new in dentistry, though rich and widely deployed across medicine, nursing, and systems of care such as academia and hospitals. As one of the few IHI certified coach dentists, I have had others in the profession ask ,“Why quality improvement? I am a highly trained professional and see no issues with the quality of my work.”

A quality improvement approach instills a growth mindset and recognizes the reality of variation, setting up guardrails around testing new workflows or approaches. It acknowledges that we are never perfect but can always get better.

Using the tools of quality improvement can be a highly effective approach to change management, a buffer to change fatigue, and a terrific team builder. We understand the improvement science and amp it up with machine learning and cutting edge software to deliver what is missing – a trusted touchpoint to improve dental care, experience, and access.

At DifferentKind, we’re building on the many principles of improvement science, taking the best of what has worked in medicine and applying it to dental workflows. Our practical, digital-first tools help empower the patient in decision-making. Our evidence-based approach to patient-reported measurement builds bridges with providers and payors toward the coming era of oral healthcare. While other software companies have the tagline of “promote patient engagement”, which generally means helping patients with appointment booking (we’ve discussed the convenience vs quality issue here before), DifferentKind solves patient and provider pain points using improvement science and evidence-backed tools to promote equity, joy, person-centeredness and capacity as the healthcare landscape changes.

The value add for patients? They can be heard in meaningful ways by their dental team (instead of feeling the need to vent on Reddit) and their future dental experiences look and feel different. The value add for providers? Actionable, timely, evidence-based feedback to continue improving their care of the patient sitting across from them. It is a toolkit built for today, designed with user experience and user interface at its core, so that patients, providers and payors can operate in lower cost, higher value, and more equitable care systems.