A study lead by Dr. Soumitra Bhuyan, an assistant professor of health systems management and policy at the School of Public Health, The University of Memphis, found that residential care facilities (RCFs) that provide medical services such as skilled nursing services and medication review are more likely to adopt Electronic Health Records (EHRs). RCFs fill the gap between home care and nursing homes and provide housing and supportive services to persons who would need assistance with activities of daily living. Unlike hospitals and nursing homes, RCFs are not required to provide medical care.
The authors say that the association between service innovations and adoption of EHRs could be a “strategic attempt by RCFs to engage in a new business arrangement with hospitals and other health care organizations where quality of care and interoperability of patients’ records may play a vital role under the current health care reform”. Additionally, the complex health care needs of the aging population may motivate RCFs to provide more medical services to attract new residents which thereby increase the necessity of health information exchanges with other health care organizations.
The study utilized a national sample of RCFs obtained from the 2010 National Survey of Residential Care Facilities and found that a relatively low proportion of RCFs adopted EHRs. There was also evidence that RCFs of larger size, non-for-profit status, chain affiliation, Medicaid certification were more likely to adopt EHRs. Currently, long-term care organizations like residential care facilities are not eligible to receive federal incentives for adopting EHRs under the Health Information technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009. The study was done in collaboration with researchers from the College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center.
The findings from this study were published in December issue of the International Journal of Medical Informatics
To read more, click:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25453201