Case Reports Serve a Place in Dentistry

An interesting article titled “CASE REPORTS HAILED” appears in JADA in September 2014, written by Enihomo Obadan, Elsbeth Kalenderian, and Rachel B. Ramoni. The article discusses an article in an earlier 2014 JADA article that featured an interesting case report. The authors state

“Almost becoming a lost art in the biomedical literature, case reports still hold tremendous opportunities for learning in dentistry. In addition to the obvious learning potential for the individual dental professional, the entire professional body advances in giant strides when there is cross-organizational learning among dental clinics through information sharing.”

The authors then discuss how adverse dental events being reported by dentists would help make dental treatments safer for all. The authors feels this helps promote a culture of safety, as long as there is no fear of retribution when the report occurs by the dentists. The authors describe how the identification of threats to patient safety is the first element of the patient safety initiative by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in the U.S.

The authors state

“Ideally, there should be a national patient safety organization to which these events could be reported. This would provide dental clinicians, researchers and patients alike essential information about the safety of dental care and would identify opportunities for betterment…”

The authors feel that without a national patient safety organization, dentists should have a standard way to report adverse event case reports to maximize the information obtained. The authors state

“…our group would like to encourage more dental professionals to submit manuscripts on dental adverse events that occur in their dental practices.”

If you look around you can see that I am a fan of case reports, as I often discuss case reports that have appeared in journal articles. I also feel that there should be a national patient safety organization. However, with the current Republican controlled Congress in the U.S., I feel this will not occur. See the article for more information.

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