WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) — From 2012 to 2016, there was an increase in electronic health record (EHR) use among residential care communities, according to a study published online March 3 in the National Health Statistics Reports, a publication from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Christine Caffrey, Ph.D., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, and colleagues reviewed data from the residential care community survey component of the 2012, 2014, and 2016 waves of the National Study of Long-Term Care Providers. Of the respondents who used EHRs for purposes other than accounting or billing, health information exchange capability was measured using items that asked residential care communities whether their computerized system supported electronic health information exchange with physicians or pharmacies.

The researchers observed an increase in the percentage of residential care communities that used EHRs between 2012 and 2016 (from 20 to 26 percent). In addition, between 2012 and 2016, there was an increase in computerized support for health information exchange with physicians or pharmacies among residential care communities reporting EHR use (47.2 to 55.0 percent).

“As the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020, established by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, aims to advance health information technology, it is important to understand trends in EHR use and health information exchange capability over time in various health care sectors, including residential care communities,” the authors write.

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