EHRs, information exchange still lacking in assisted living, CDC says

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EHRs, information exchange still lacking in assisted living, CDC says
EHRs, information exchange still lacking in assisted living, CDC says

More than three-fourths of assisted living communities and similar residential settings for older adults do not use electronic health records, according to newly analyzed data collected as part of the National Study of Long-Term Care Providers.

Some data collected in 2013-2014 were released in 2016, but the EHR information from that timeframe was not published until this week, when a new report with weighted estimates for data from residential care community settings was published.

“The report released in 2016 only included those measures that were available in at least three of the five sectors included in the report (adult day services centers, home health, hospice, nursing homes and residential care communities),” lead author Manisha Sengupta, Ph.D., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics told McKnight's Senior Living. “So there are some other variables that are only on the weighted estimates document.”

A previously released estimate held that 18.7% of assisted living and similar residential care communities were using EHRs in 2014, but that estimate did not include data for 21 states, because data did not meet the NCHS standard of reliability or precision or did not meet NCHS confidentiality standards.

According to the newly released weighted estimates, 77% of residential care communities do not use EHRs, and 17.7% do. The status could not be ascertained for the remaining communities that were part of the survey. Accounting or billing functionality did not count.

The 2013-2014 percentage essentially was unchanged from 2010, when the National Survey of Residential Care Facilities found that 17% of residential care communities used EHRs.

In a 2015 survey by LeadingAge and PointClickCare, 48% of assisted living respondents said they had invested in EHRs, compared with continuing care retirement communities and skilled nursing facilities, which had an EHR adoption rate close to 80%.

HIE with healthcare providers

Additionally, the new CDC document with weighted estimates states, 74.5% of residential care communities do not have a computerized system that supports electronic health information exchange with physicians, pharmacies or hospitals; 18.5% do.

Of residential care communities included in the survey, 85.3% said they could not electronically exchange health information with hospitals (7.4% said they could), 82.7% said they could not electronically exchange health information with physicians (10.3% said they could), and 77% said they could not electronically exchange health information with pharmacies (15.9% said they could). Fax capability did not count.

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