In dentistry, an after visit summary (AVS) can be thought of in both the context of a standalone dental practice and as a combined summary integrating oral health-related information with medical information. In this commentary, the authors explore the AVS from both perspectives and make a case for considering the AVS as an important piece of the larger puzzle needed to improve oral health and general health literacy for all patients.
The concept of providing patients with an AVS is gaining attention as a result of the electronic health record (EHR) incentive program commonly known as “meaningful use” (MU). MU is a part of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act that went into effect in February 2009 (DesRoches et al, 2013). However, the authors believe that AVS remains a foreign concept among the vast majority of dental practices in the United States that are either not eligible for MU or not aware of it (Schroeder et al, 2013).