June 19, 2013
Electronic Health Records Make Their Way Into Senior Healthcare
Over half of the doctors in the United States now use electronic health records (EHRs), according to data released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The market for EHRs even presents a promising opportunity for investors, and the market is now estimated at between $6 billion and $10 billion.
The impetus behind a push for EHRs to become adopted throughout the healthcare industry came from Congress in 2009, when they passed the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. This Act offered health care providers who were resistant to the drastic changes to make the shift to digital systems, offering “meaningful use” incentives, and if they didn’t comply, threatening punitive action, according to a report by Venture Beat.
One such company that has adopted the EHR model specifically for senior housing residents is Leading Age. Their Center for Aging Services Technologies (CAST) is “ is releasing a white paper and selection matrix for senior living providers looking to implement an electronic health record (EHR) system” according to a recent report by Senior Housing News.
“In an age where providers are looking to meet greater demand on a tighter budget, EHR’s are a great example of how technology is improving quality while reducing costs,” said Larry Minnix, president and CEO of LeadingAge.
This matrix that LeadingAge will implement can be thought of as more of a meta service for health care providers, and will provide assessments and ways to implement electronic health records that meet the needs of a particular provider. In other words, the white paper “outlines the detailed steps of planning, assessing and selecting an EHR system.” They also define the components that their products offer
The matrix attempts to align the right products to each of a provider’s missions and goals.
“EHR is a key, enabling technology for the future,” Majd Alwan, Ph.D, LeadingAge senior vice president for technology and executive director of CAST, told Senior Housing News. “Having an EHR helps providers offer more accurate, timely documentation, and using the advanced features of this technology helps them increase efficiency and improve the quality of care for their residents.
The white paper includes checklists of assessments, including IT infrastructure assessments, staff preparedness to pinpoint future training needs, and an assessment of how ready the organization is overall in order to implement EHRs.
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