Large nonprofit LTC providers have embraced electronic health records, information exchange lags, survey finds

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The nation's largest not-for-profit long-term care providers have implemented electronic health records, but there is still much room for growth when it comes to the sharing of digital data, according to a recently released survey.

The technology adoption and utilization survey was administered to the 100 largest nonprofit LTC providers, as ranked earlier this year by total owned market-rate units. The list was compiled by provider association LeadingAge and investment bank Ziegler.

“LZ 100 providers we surveyed show strong commitment to safety, social connectedness and electronic documentation technologies,” stated Majd Alwan, Ph.D., senior vice president of technology at LeadingAge and executive director of the Center for Aging Services Technologies. “We hope and expect to see higher utilization of health information exchange with other providers to facilitate care coordination across settings.”

Out of the 94 provider companies that responded to the survey, three-quarters said they have adopted an electronic medical record or electronic health record system. The survey defined these as systems that include such functions as patient demographics, progress notes, medication and functional assessments unique to senior living settings.

Around 83% are using kiosks, tablet computers or other point of care/point of service documentation systems, according to the survey.

Despite this widespread adoption of health information technology, providers still are in the early stages of sharing information with outside entities. The highest level of information sharing occurred for medication orders and electronic prescribing, with 29% of providers integrating this information with outside organizations.

Providers were least likely to be sharing care plan information (9%) and non-regulatory assessments (11%) with nonaffiliated groups such as hospitals or physician offices.

Click here to access the complete survey, released Wednesday.

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