Nursing homes less likely to implement EHRs

Nursing homes lag behind other providers in electronic health record system adoption and health information exchange, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Managed Care. The researchers, from Weill Cornell Medical College and elsewhere, surveyed 472 nursing homes in New York. There was a 7.7 percent increase in EHR adoption by nursing homes from 2012 to 2013, from 48.6 percent to 56.3 percent, but those numbers were much lower than the EHR adoption rates of physicians and hospitals.

The main barriers to nursing home EHR adoption were costs, lack of financial incentives and lack of technical staff. Data sharing numbers were "stagnant" from 2012 to 2013; only about a half of nursing homes exchanged clinical information electronically within their own health system, and only 27.2 percent exchanged such data outside of their own system. Perhaps not surprisingly, nursing home chains were more likely to implement EHRs. Nursing homes affiliated with a hospital, that had an EHR, or that were private nonprofit, were more likely to electronically share data. Article

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