Online Schedule and Glossary: smarter way to search item numbers

In a rapidly changing world, we’ve come to expect immediacy and convenience delivered through easy-to-use technology solutions. These expectations permeate nearly every aspect of our lives, and the relationship with your professional association is no exception.

That’s why the ADA has made a strategic decision to focus on using technical solutions to help solve a range of problems for members.

The start of the journey

First, the launch of the official mobile app, ADA Connect. It started small and was designed to create a new and convenient way to access existing services, namely, jobs, news, and events. ADA Connect has and will continue to expand in functionality. Right now, you can keep your CPD logging up-to-date by uploading any

activity directly from the app, you can save money by flashing your digital membership card, and soon you will be able to stream video and audio CPD content directly from the app with automated CPD logging.

But this is just the start of our journey.

Launch of the Online Schedule

Now, we’ve set our sights on The Australian Schedule of Dental Services and Glossary (Twelfth Edition) also known as the Schedule. Overseen by the ADA Schedule and Third Party Committee, the Schedule is recognised as the definitive coding system of dental items and clinical procedures in Australia.

As a natural first step, we’ve digitised the Schedule and made it searchable by keyword or item number. No longer will you need to walk away from a patient to find the item number you need or waste time flicking through an index to find what you’re looking for.

Addressing limitations

Of course, you can still download a PDF of the publication to have in your practice if you prefer to touch and feel, but this comes with limitations. For example, the terminology used in the Schedule is static and might not align with search terms you might use. The print publication uses standard terms such as “metallic restoration” or “adhesive restoration” in classifying treatments, although these treatment forms can be composed of various materials. Titanium, for instance, will not be found in the PDF version of the Schedule but will return a large number of results in the OSG!

The OSG provides for this by allowing the continuous expansion of search terms to ensure you find the item number(s) you’re looking for every time.

The vision

Our plan is to use technology to immediately and conveniently answer any question relating to the Schedule.

It sounds simple, but some of the questions answered by the ADA’s Schedule and Third Party Committee are complex. Conversely, some are relatively simple and repetitive. We’re starting to assess the feasibility of using recent or emerging technologies to improve your experience and get you an answer faster. Can we use machine learning and natural language processing to allow you to ask a question and have it answered immediately rather than waiting for an expert? Can we use Google Home or Alexa so you can use voice to find the answer you’re looking for?

Come with us on the journey

Getting the systems right is the first step toward technical innovation. You can help us on the journey to solving problems through technology by taking the time to use our new features and providing feedback, by actively suggesting what you’d like to see, or by telling us about the problems you need to solve.

/ADA Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.