Adoption and Utilization of Electronic Health Record Systems by Long-Term Care Facilities in Texas
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Long-term care (LTC) is an important sector in the healthcare industry; however, the adoption of electronic health record (EHR) systems in LTC facilities lags behind that in other sectors of healthcare. This study examines the adoption and utilization of EHRs in LTC facilities in Texas and identifies the barriers preventing implementation of EHRs.
A survey instrument was mailed to all Texas LTC facilities between October 2010 and March 2011. The survey found that in Texas, 39.5 percent of LTC facilities have fully or partially implemented EHR systems and 15 percent of LTC facilities have no plans to adopt EHRs yet. There is significant variation in the use of EHR functionalities across the LTC facilities in Texas. In the LTC facilities, the administrative functions of EHRs have been more widely adopted and are more widely utilized than the clinical functions of EHRs. Among the clinical functions adopted, the resident assessment, physician orders, care management plan, and census management are the leading functions used by the LTC facilities in Texas. Lack of capital resources is still the greatest barrier to EHR adoption and implementation. Policy makers, vendors, LTC administrators, educators, and researchers should make more effort to improve EHR adoption in LTC facilities.