More post-acute care providers are embracing the use of electronic health records in their facilities, according to a new survey by Black Book Market Research firm.

The survey — which featured responses from 1,640 long-term and post-acute care providers — found that 21% of them now have some EHR capabilities as of Q4 2019. That’s an improvement from the 15% in 2016. 

The findings, however, revealed that providers are still struggling with exchanging health information with other providers, which has been a major cause for concern. Long-term care administrators reported that 86% of their facilities are not exchanging information electronically with referring hospitals, physicians or home health providers. 

Interoperability between hospitals and nursing homes have been a major challenge over the years. Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid announced an effort aimed at improving information sharing between SNFs and other providers.

Analysts called the communication issues “an extremely expensive problem” and called on providers to expand their technology capabilities. 

“All healthcare organizations must find better ways to manage the patient transition into post-acute processes and keep hospital readmissions in check, and that may fall completely on hospital systems at risk in 2020,” said Doug Brown, managing partner of Black Book Research.  

“That answer will require the expansion of technology capabilities to connect physician practices, home health agencies, hospices, outpatient settings, skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation centers, DME firms and hospitals,” he added.