CAST updates EHR whitepaper, matrix

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Selecting an electronic health record should soon be easier for long-term care providers. LeadingAge's Center for Aging Services Technologies recently announced the upcoming release of a whitepaper and selection matrix covering selecting an EHR.

“This year, we updated the matrix to focus and drill down on clinical decision support systems that are offered by the different vendors, whether these systems are aimed at reducing falls, managing pressure ulcers, reducing hospital transfers, et cetera,” Majd Alwan, Ph.D., LeadingAge senior vice president for technology and executive director of CAST, told McKnight's. “So we're pushing the envelope and trying to show providers how to use the advanced features of the EHR to impact the clinical and other outcomes, as opposed to merely documenting care more accurately to impact their reimbursement.”

The whitepaper outlines the detailed steps of planning, assessing and selecting an EHR system and defines the major components that EHR products offer. The main criteria were that each vendor offer a full EHR, Alwan said. 

Providers should start with the question, “What am I buying?” when acquiring an EHR system, the paper says. That's because variations can range from an ability to support all aspects of documentation to clinical decision support.

The CAST selection matrix catalogs more than 200 major functionalities in 36 long-term care and post-acute care EHR products. That is up from 22  products in 2012. The online tool was expected to be available by the end of July, Alwan said.

EHR vendors participating in the 2013 CAST EHR Selection Matrix include Answers on Demand (AOD), American Health Tech, Cerner Extended Care, Health Care Software, HealthMedX, LINTECH, MDI Achieve, Optimus EMR,  SigmaCare, //SOS/Corp. and PointClickCare. 

The vendor list can be seen at www.mcknights.com or www.leadingage.org/CAST.aspx.

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