A greater percentage of long-term and post-acute care (LTPAC) organizations are using less-sophisticated electronic health record (EHR) systems this year than last, according to new data from LeadingAge CAST. This revelation comes as CAST updates its Electronic Health Records (EHR) Technology Selection Tool, which helps aging services providers choose the best EHR solutions to meet their organization's needs.
The updated tool includes 18 products in the product matrix and online selection tool. One new vendor, ACMS from Cervey, has been added.

EHR Sophistication Trends Back to Basics

Every year since 2016, CAST has updated information on the CAST 7-Stage EHR Adoption Model. The model shows the sophistication of EHR use in LTPAC, as opposed to just the overall rate of adoption. Ratings are based on EHR vendors’ perception of where their LTPAC clients fall on the spectrum of EHR use—and the percentage of clients in each stage.
This year, a slightly greater percentage of EHRs deployed in senior living are in the earlier stages of sophistication than they were in 2019, according to the latest data.  
The percentage of LTPAC providers in Stage 1 increased from 5.76% to 7.95%. The percentage in Stage 2 increased from 10.92% to 13.53%, and Stage 3 rose from 12.65% to 14.14%. The percentages in Stages 4-7 decreased. Last year, the percentage in the higher stages increased and those in the middle stages decreased compared to 2019. See the full chart below.

Potential Cause for the Reversal in Sophistication

The LTPAC EHR sector has seen significant consolidation last year, including one of the EHR vendors acquiring a number of much smaller EHRs that were not included in CAST’s EHR matrix in previous years. The new acquisitions appear to have a majority of deployments at the lower sophistication stages. This change smoothed out the percentages into the lower levels of the adoption mode and reversed the increasing sophistication trend we’ve witnessed over the past two years.

CAST 7-Stage EHR Adoption Model

The 7-stage model is based on the types of functionalities, their sophistication, and their focus, as opposed to rigid specific functions. The stages are as follows:

  • Stage 1 – Basic Information System – Without the clinical elements of an EHR.
  • Stage 2 – Basic EHR.
  • Stage 3 – Ancillary & Clinical Administration (Non-Integrated) – Extends the EHR beyond its basic setting-specific functionalities to other ancillary areas and adds efficiency capabilities.
  • Stage 4 – Advanced EHR (Internal Quality-Focused) – Adds functionalities and capabilities that allow providers to use their EHR to improve care quality inside their organization.
  • Stage 5 – External Ancillary Services Integration – Focuses on basic integration between the EHR and other external and ancillary systems.
  • Stage 6 – Engagement & Basic Information Exchange – Focuses on tools and capabilities that aim to engage different members of the care team, including the physician and possibly the patient/resident/client, as well as basic information exchange capabilities.
  • Stage 7 – Interoperability & Health Information Exchange – Represents the ideal full interoperability stage the sector strives for that allows the exchange of information in a standards-based data format that other EHRs can both understand and consume. 

CAST Technology Selection Tools

Eight portfolios of hands-on CAST Technology Selection Tools are available. Each portfolio includes a whitepaper, selection matrix, online selection tool and provider case studies. All help you to understand, plan for, select, implement, and adopt the appropriate technology while advocating for innovative care models: